21st Century Learning
Students as InventorsRabbi Eli Muchnik, All Campus Educator
Eli Muchnik has been in the world of education for over a decade. Born in Brooklyn and traveled as far as the Ukraine and Australia to teach and inspire Jewish children of all ages. In 2016 Eli Co Directed a summer program in Isreal for young teens looking to explore their Jewish heritage in the holy land.
In 2019 Eli was the lead teacher and Coordinator for a classroom of students with autism and various learning challenges. Eli has a genuine love for every child and his energy and smile can be felt in the hearts and minds of those under his care.
At Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, technology is integrated into the fabric of student learning and experiences. Technology is not a class, a time, or a place; rather, it is a tool to solve a problem or challenge, a path towards innovation. Technology use at Hillel is intentional, purposeful, and geared towards making learning engaging and meaningful.
At Hillel, students experience a highly personalized dual curriculum that equips them with vital tools and skills, regardless of varying academic levels, to reach their highest potential. This student-centered educational model allows students of all ages to use technology thoughtfully in order to express their unique understanding of the material. Because students have the freedom to make meaningful decisions about how they adapt and use technology, they feel empowered to take ownership of their learning. In this regard, Hillel fosters the belief that technology transforms both teaching and learning so that learning transcends classroom walls. The iPad is a powerful device that allows teachers and students to act as producers who reinvent and experience the learned material, rather than consumers who regurgitate information without developing a lasting connection to their education.
By thoughtfully implementing technology in the curriculum, Hillel is redefining and reshaping the way students learn by creating personalized avenues that increase student engagement. This individualized instruction allows students to apply their own frames of reference, making material immediately relevant. Learning is transformed into a fun, interactive, and adventurous activity that connects students to the content, as well as to each other. Students can reflect upon usable products of learning to further their education.
In both elementary and middle school, students use their creativity to show their comprehension through student-created and directed film. Technology at Hillel is a vehicle that allows students to add their own voices while also assessing their comprehension. The power of technology allows students' imaginations to literally come to life.
A strong arts program nourishes both the mind and soul, and builds strong character. Hillel provides many opportunities, both during the school day and as part of an engaging, rewarding enrichment program after school, for students to shine in the arts.
Hillel's music program is designed to build musical skills and an appreciation for various musical styles and artists in a child-friendly, age-appropriate manner. Beginning with our toddlers, the program focuses on multicultural and traditional songs, chants, rhythm, movement, tone color, beat competency, harmony, form and various musical styles and positive values. Various instruments are used. In grades 2-8, Hillel offers an Orff Schulwerk general music program using developmentally appropriate materials and resources. Students sing and play rhythm games, use percussion and Orff instruments, integrate dance and drama and collaborate with our Judaic and General studies teachers to facilitate in-depth studies across the curriculum. Every student is versed using the recorder, and continue to have opportunities with different instruments, including wind, string and percussion instruments. A choir and instrument classes are available to students as part of an enrichment program.
Art is a simple, 3-letter word for a big vision. The visual arts center is well equipped and prepared to encourage our students to discover the artist within themselves by finding their own artistic voice and gaining confidence in visual expression. At every level, students are encouraged to integrate their classroom experiences and learning into their artwork. Students use a variety of medium to explore and stimulate expression such as drawing, painting, sculpting, collage, ceramics and printmaking. Student artwork is on display throughout campus either as permanent fixture on a wall or as a rotating exhibit.
Curriculum comes alive when a child performs a character from history or literature or a play. Students gain a deeper understanding by living and experiencing what s/he reads and learns. Whether students act out a scene from Shakespeare in a Language Arts or English class, dramatically act out one of Hillel's Points of Pride at an all-school assembly, or learn valuable theatre skills and perform a play as part of the after school STAR program, children get an opportunity to shine individually or as part of an ensemble.
Meet the Directors
Morah Katherine Simon is the Director of the Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Choir, and she teaches 3rd and 4th Grade Judaic Studies. She graduated from UCLA and specialized in Social & Developmental Psychology as well as Special Education. She also has a background in musical production. Morah Simon has been teaching at Hillel for 6 years and her teaching career spans over 13 years. She loves getting students excited about learning through art, music, cooperative learning, reading and writing. Morah Simon can be reached at email@example.com.
Cantor Arik Wollheim ,born and raised in Israel, has served as Chazan of Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills, CA since February 2013. In addition to leading Shabbat and holidays services, Arik directs a volunteers’ choir, is involved in various capacities with teaching both adults and youth, and is fully immersed in his pastoral duties such as attending to those in need or cultivating new membership. Cantor Arik's accomplishments include winning the famous Hassidic Song Festival in Israel, being a scholarship recipient of the American-Israel Cultural Foundation,winning the Sharet Competition and being selected a member of the International Vocal Arts Institute conducted by the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. In 2004 he released his solo CD, “Return to Zion”, a collection of Cantorial works accompanied by a full Symphony Orchestra.
Please click herefor the choir parent letter.
Character Counts at Hillel!
MISSION STATEMENT:Hillel's character building program aims to foster in each student a healthy sense of self, rooted in Torah values. The program promotes caring, fairness, trustworthiness, responsibility, respect and citizenship. Each student will be given the tools to make informed choices that positively impact him or her, as well as those around him or her.
Hillel'sPOSITIVE andPROACTIVE approach to character development ensures each student has the tools necessary to make informed choices that impact him or her as well as those around him or her fostering a safe and caring community. Hillel recognizes thePARTNERSHIP between school and home as an essential component of theMORAL GROWTH of each student and the Hillel kehilla as a whole. Students are recognized at school assemblies and applauded for their citizenship as well as fostering the school-home relationship using Pitkei Nachat, Notes of Pride, as positive communication between school and home. Hillel students act asAMBASSADORS for their school, serving as tour guides for visitors to the classroom and representing their school wherever they go with Hillel Pride. Hillel students learn the values ofCHESSED and JewishCONTINUITY through a variety of programming promoting a positive engagement with the world including partnerships withLAMOTH, Friendship Circle, Tomchei Shabbat and Socks for the Homeless.
The best way to teach Character is through the T.E.A.M. approach - Teach, Enforce, Advocate, and Model. Faculty and families are encouraged to discuss, model, encourage and provide opportunities to teach each child about how important having good character is.
By implementing Character Counts! at school we will continue to increase students' awareness of what it means to be a person of character, and the importance of making positive choices. We want our students to know that Character Counts!
Hillel uses LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES to promote right choices and has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for bullying.
Hillel's conflict resolution program is part of our school-wide character and community building initiative. Students participate in interactive workshops and dialogue groups throughout the school year in which they practice making decisions as a group, dealing with conflicts, and appreciating differences. The goal of our conflict resolution program is to create a common language, awareness, and skill set, among students and staff in order to promote a healthy community and thriving respectful learning environment. Our vision includes the creation of a school wide peer mediator program, and ultimately empowering our students with the capacity to resolve conflicts themselves.
Middle School Student Council gives students a voice in determining school activities and its environment. It helps promote activities for the entire student body at Hillel and fosters a positive atmosphere throughout the school.
To be eligible to serve on Student Council, a student must attain and uphold exemplary academic and behavioral standards. Each position has one boy and one girl, allowing for an executive of 13 members representing both genders equally.
Student Council is modeled on our democratic and representative form of government and is intended to promote leadership skills. Members are encouraged to take initiative and begin the formative process of leading our student body in the weeks leading up to the school year.
The Student Council looks to be a representative body for the Student population, while also serving the greater Hillel and Los Angeles community. StuCo has organized fundraisers for the largest orphanage in the entire world, while also jump starting Hillel's first Tomchei Shabbat route. Among the activities Student Council has planned are: middle school shabbaton, a Chanukah field trip for the student body, a festive breakfast every Rosh Chodesh for the students of the middle school, Lag B'omer trips and the like. Along with all the programs the Students Council provides, the Student Council also takes the responsibility to educate its student population. Immediately after the natural disaster in Haiti occurred, the Student Council jumped at the opportunity to educate their peers about the disaster itself, the reaction from both Israel and the U.S, and most importantly what we could do and how we can react. They also spearheaded a fundraising campaign to assist the victims.
Being a member of Student Council is both an honor and a challenge. Members plan and organize so many different activities, programs, and assemblies over the course of the year. Our members exemplify and model academic and behavioral excellence, and are appreciated by their peers.To contact the Director of Student Services please email Rabbi Zach Swigard at firstname.lastname@example.org or Coach Chumie Begin at email@example.com.