We invite teens in 8th-12th grade to explore their rich Jewish heritage and challenging modern lives through a variety of learning and community building programs. We offer teens ownership of their own education, giving choices in topics and varied schedules for education, community service, and community building.
KNOW: Bet Torah values life-long learning, and provides opportunities for many different types of learning for our young adults.
BELONG: Bet Torah is first and foremost a kehilah, a community. Teens have many opportunities to bond with their peers creating youth community through trips and other social activities, to impact the wider intergenerational synagogue community on Shabbat, holidays, and year-round, and to create meaningful relationships with other Jewish teens.
DO: Bet Torah teens improve our community and our world through action and direct service. From helping a child with special needs to serving a warm meal to a person in need, our teens serve as as role models to us all by showing their commitment to tikkun olam, repairing the broken world.
Our redesigned teen learning initiative features dynamic choice in topic and frequency. Each month we offer a new mini-course on a distinct topic, led by one of our many compelling educators and clergy. Lunch and social time are included.
New Offerings for Spring Semester 2017:
Jewish Mindfulness Meditation and Relaxation with Robin Wald
Sunday, January 22 and 29, 11:00-11:55 a.m.
Winter is a perfect time to destress with calming, introspective practices. In this mini-course you will learn Jewish meditation techniques to relax your mind, along with restorative yoga poses to relax your body.
Jewish Life through Arts and Crafts with Loen Amer
Sunday, January 22 (Yad Making Workshop) and 29 (Challah Plate Workshop), 11:55 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Craft beautiful Jewish ritual objects for your use at these workshops. We will be making the Yad with beads and the Challah Plate with decoupage, but both will require your personal creativity, style, and flare.
Gabai and Usher Boot Camp
Sunday, February 12, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Have you always wanted to take charge on the Bimah? Do you love welcoming people to Bet Torah? Whether you want to train to assist Torah readers on the Bimah or help services run more smoothly or pass out Shabbat booklets with a smil, our Gabi and Usher Boot Camp will whip you into shape. Our beloved adults Gabai and Usher will teach you these skills, so you can fill these roles in the future. Program content tailored to participant interest.
Sunday, February 12, 12:00-12:45 p.m.
Last semester, under the guidance of Robin Wald, many of our teens personally explored the meaning of being Jewish by creating photo-stories about Jewish identity. Members of the Bet Torah community will be invited to view and vote on the photos at a sparkling cider and cheese reception, selecting a photo to submit to the Jewish Lens @ Beit Hatfutsot Photo Competition.
Entrepreneurial Spirit and Spirituality Panel Discussion
Sunday, March 5, 11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
The entrepreneurs who founded ethically-made capsule shop IMBY and boutique fitness studio CITYROW grew up as teens at Bet Torah. This panel discussion will cover these ventures, starting your own company, and where Jewish and business ethics intersect.
My Brother from Another Mother: Jewish-Muslim Dialogue with Robin Wald
Sunday, March 19, 26, and April 2, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Curious and want to learn more about Islam? In this mini-course we will study the core teachings and beliefs of Islam. How are Judaism and Islam similar? How do they differ? The course will feature interaction with the Muslim community in Northern Westchester, and an off-site visit.
Meeting Hate with Humanity: The Holocaust 75 Years Later with Robin Wald
Sunday, April 23 and 30, morning TBD
Explore the lessons from the Holocaust we can apply to combating hate and standing up for justice today. Course will feature a field trip to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC to learn about Jewish life before, during and after the Holocaust. (Exact time and transportation details TBD.)
Hot Topics with Rabbi Brusso
Sunday, May 7 and 14, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Explore current events and their effects on our lives with Rabbi Brusso. Course will be tailored to events in the world today.
Tuesday, 6:15-7:45 p.m.
Open to teens in 8th-12th grade, Nosh and Drash is a safe space for open, judgement-free dialogue to discuss current events and the world around us. Pizza dinner is included.
Tuesday (once a month), 6:15-7:45 p.m.
As our upperclassmen (11th and 12th graders) prepare for the transition from home to college life and beyond, we offer them the opportunity to discuss their lives and Judaism with Rabbi Brusso once a month parallel to Nosh and Drash. Dinner is included. Upperclassmen are also invited to attend Nosh and Drash weekly.
Bet Torah is first and foremost a kehilah, a community. Teens have many opportunities to bond with their peers creating youth community through trips and other social activities, to impact the wider intergenerational synagogue community on Shabbat, holidays, and year-round, and to create meaningful relationships with other Jewish teens.
As part of Bet Torah's commitment to a peer-led youth program, we are initiating a teen leadership council to create a vision of engagement at Bet Torah. The council will bring together representatives of teen programs at Bet Torah such as Nosh and Drash and Madrichim as well as youth co-chairs of major events.
Emek Divisional Kinnus
Friday, February 3 - Sunday, February 5
Teens in 8th-12th grade are invited to join other Jewish teens from around the Hudson Valley for a wonderful weekend at Bet Torah making new friends and enjoying being Jewish together.
*Enrollment opens August 2017* Rosh Hodesh & Shevet Achim - Jewish relationship building programs by Moving Traditions
Sunday evening, once a month
Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood
We offer our young men the opportunity to explore confusing cultural messages with the support of an adult Jewish male mentor, in an all-male environment, free from the pressures of co-educational space. Teens hang out and tackle topics such as peer pressure, masculinity, relationships, and Jewish identity.
Groups currently available for the classes of 2021, 2020, and 2019.
Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!
We offer our young women a safe, Jewish place to ask questions and voice their concerns about things that matter most in their lives: body image, friendship, competition, stress, and family.
Bet Torah teens improve our community and our world through action and direct service. From helping a child with special needs to serving a warm meal to a person in need, our teens serve as as role models to us all by showing their commitment to tikkun olam, repairing the broken world.
Join us for one or all of the community service events for teens, in our community and the world.
Purim Carnival for Guests from the WJCS
Sunday, March 12, after Children’s Carnival
Color Run for Amy’s Kisses
Sunday, May 21
*Enrollment opens August 2017* Madrichim (Teacher Assistants)
Madrichim in 8th-12th grade serve as role models, working with teachers to create a positive environment throughout the congregation. Beginning this year, we are excited to provide training and leadership development workshops.
Gina Fass, Director of Education for the Religious School
Loen Amer, Director of Youth Engagement