There’s no better way to describe our middle schoolers’ pursuits than Chugim, a Hebrew term for “club or activity,” which reflects how their interests shape them as both individuals and as Jews.

At Bernard Zell, Chugim encompasses activities ranging from leadership opportunities like Student Council to city- and even worldwide travel.

The Middle School Student Council leads weekly meetings, comes up with ideas for new school programs, and help plan student events. Outside of school, students enjoy trips to Chicago museums and institutes, to state forest preserves and overnight camps, and to Washington, D.C. Beginning in 5th grade, students come together for an overnight Shabbaton full of team building, music and Jewish exploration. Older students expand their horizons far beyond city limits, with opportunities including our Tiyul, a two-week journey to Israel and the culmination of our students' Jewish journey at Bernard Zell.

Every activity is geared toward the Bernard Zell foundation of Jewish learning that extends throughout every aspect of life, and the importance we place on a sense of wonder and curiosity. As students enjoy Chugim, they learn their interests and passions, strengths and challenges; always working on becoming the people they want to be.

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