Centropa lesson plan by neal scheindlin

Foundations of Halacha and Aggada


Course Title

Foundations of Halacha and Aggada

Unit/Lesson Title

Unit: Ethics of Community


Students will engage in a unit exploring various definitions of Jewish community.  They will study both classical (Biblical and Rabbinic) texts and contemporary materials to consider ethical problems raised by living in community.  These include ethical speech (leshon ha-ra and tochecha) and accepting differences.  Students expand their understanding of the Jewish community or communities in which they participate, and discuss what responsibilities membership in a community entails.

This lesson allows students to compare and contrast their Jewish communities with less familiar ones.  They uncover several different ways of understanding what it means to participate in a Jewish community.


A lesson plan by Rabbi Neal Scheindlin

The Milken Community School, Los Angeles

Three Centropa stories in Romania, Hungary and interwar Czechoslovakia and Jewish identity in American today

From top to bottom: Juci Scheiner (Romania) on the right with her brother and sister

Center: Ernst Galpert in 1939 (interwar Czechoslovakia)

Below: Juci Scheiner, right (Hungary

Rabbi Neal Scheindlin teaches and leads curriculum development in Jewish Studies at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles.  He teaches the 11th grade Foundations of Halacha: Ethics and Practice course.  Rabbi Scheindlin also works in Milken’s Beit Midrash Fellowship program, which seeks to create a group of students engaged in advanced study of classical Jewish texts.  He is a creator of Milken’s Senior Seminar on Israel, a unique course that prepares graduates to participate in discourse about the State of Israel when they reach college campuses.

A summa cum laude graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, Rabbi Scheindlin received an M.A. and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1986.  In addition to his work in Jewish education, he has served as a congregational rabbi in various communities in the United States.