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8th-12th Grade Programs

Lunch & Learn (8th-9th Grades)
Camp Beth Am MIT (8th Grade)
Confirmation (10th Grade)
Civil Rights Journey (11th-12th Grades)
Madrichim (9th-12th Grades)
Beth Am Temple Youth (9th-12th Grades)
Israel Experiences (9th-12th Grades)

Sunday Lunch* & Learn (8th-9th Grades): Lunch & Learn for 8th and 9th grades is a hands-on opportunity for students to put Jewish values into action. Students study the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that make a person a mensch, and use their critical thinking and leadership skills to make a difference in the community. The program follows a two-year curriculum cycle with 4-6 units per year, each consisting of three sessions — one session of planning, one session of field project and one session to wrap up and make connections. For example, when students study homelessness, they visit and volunteer at a shelter run by LifeMoves. Some of the field projects are directed by instructors, others come from students ideas. Instructors link projects to ritual and ethical mitzvot, such as tzedakah and advocacy. Students to get to know their peers who are all working for a common good. Contact: Vicki Streeter, Interim Program Director

*Note: Beth Am provides a variety of kid-friendly meals and water during each session. If your student has special dietary needs of any kind, please contact us at youthed@betham.org.

Camp Beth Am Madrichim-in-Training (8th Grade): Camp Beth Am is a year-round, camp-style youth education program that blends the best aspects of Jewish summer camp and congregational family education for a one-of-a-kind educational experience. 8th Grade MITs attend all camp sessions and learn to be leaders through their work as classroom and activity aides. These students will be eligible to volunteer in Beth Am programs as Madrichim. Dates for Summer Day Camp 2020: August 3-7, 2020. Contact: Sarah Lauing, Director of Learning and Educational Innovation

Confirmation (10th Grade): Confirmation meets approximately twice a month to study significant issues facing young Jews today. One of the highlights of the Confirmation year is a weekend with the L’Taken Social Justice Seminar in Washington, D.C. Toward the end of the schoolyear, we look inward and reflect on what Judaism means to us as we create a meaningful and engaging Confirmation program. All confirmands are highly encouraged to participate in the Beth Am NFTY in Israel trip in the summer. Contact: Rabbi Jonathan Prosnit or Rabbi Heath Watenmaker

Civil Rights Journey (11th-12th Grades): What does it mean to look at the world through a Jewish lens? Together, we will explore this question by looking at the world around us, using the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s as a case study for how that generation of Jews expressed their Jewish values through their participation in that movement.

The centerpiece of this trip will be a Civil Rights Journey through the South over MLK Weekend (January 16-19, 2020). We will visit some of the most important sites of the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s and meet with individuals who lived through this challenging moment in American history. We will also explore the Jewish values that animated Jewish participation in the Civil Rights movement then and that still inform our lives and our commitment to Social Justice now.

Throughout the year, we will learn together through informal discussions as we consider Jewish wisdom throughout the ages on these topics. Students will develop the tools they’ll need to find their own answers as well, and consider how to start “packing” their Judaism for the next stage of their lives. Contact: Rabbi Heath Watenmaker

Madrichim (9th-12th Grades): Do you like working with kids? Do you like music or art? Want to make a little money? Or need some volunteer hours? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, consider becoming a Madrich(a). Madrich means "guide" in Hebrew. At Beth Am, we would be lost without our high school madrichim guiding us through all our education programs. Madrichim are teacher's assistants in Beth Am's youth education programs – Sunday Program, Connections, Camp Beth Am, Hebrew Program, Hagigah, and Tot Shabbat. The madrichim program provides a great way to gain valuable work experience and skills for students in 9th-12th grades. Contact: Vicki Streeter, Interim Program Director

Beth Am Temple Youth — BATY (9th-12th Grades): BATY is a community for 9th-12th graders, made by high schoolers for high schoolers. It encompasses tikkun olam, the spirit of social action and Judaism; with the purpose of creating a community of love and acceptance while spreading our good intentions to others outside of our community. We will manifest curiosity, adverturousness and enthusiasm through our daily lives. We will stress the importance of how teenagers have the ability to reach out and help change the world. We strive to be accepting toward all others, and always hold an open heart for all friends, new and old, regardless of differences, as we explore opportunities for social justice and equality for all. Contact: Molly, Youth Advisor.

Israel Experiences: One of our teens came back from Israel last summer and said, "I fell in love with my homeland and with Judaism for the first time." We cannot simulate it; there is no replacing experiencing Israel yourself. By traveling to Israel with their peers, teens open their minds and hearts to the experience in a way they can't on a family trip. We hope that all Beth Am teens will be able to go to Israel, ideally the summer after Confirmation on NFTY in Israel. Learn more about teen Israel experiences.

Thu, June 4 2020 12 Sivan 5780