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!
We’ve redone our spring 2017 courses, and postponed the entrepreneurial panel discussion and interfaith experience to build further relationships with our partners.
Hunger Awareness and Cooking for the Needy, with Diana Binger
Sunday, March 5, 19, 26, and April 2, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
The upcoming holidays of Purim and Passover include commandments to feed the hungry: matanot l’evyonim and maot hittin. Without helping the less fortunate, observance of the holidays are incomplete.
Sunday, March 5 - Purim cooking and learning to benefit our friends Neighbor’s Link with Diana Binger.
Sunday, March 19 - Matzah baking with Eden Village, the innovative Jewish organic farm camp. We’ll turn wheat into matzah!
Sunday, March 26 - Passover cooking for Neighbor’s Link and learning about giving wheat to the poor for the holiday with Diana Binger.
Sunday, April 2 - What is being hungry and homeless really like? Hear from Dale Williams the executive director of Midnight Run, who was homeless in New York City between 1987 and 1990.
Tuesday, April 4, 4:00-6:00 - Help Fight Hunger with Challah! *For 8th Graders Only*
Meeting Hate with Humanity: The Holocaust 75 Years Later, with Robin Wald and Loen Amer
Sunday, April 23 and 30
Explore the lessons from the Holocaust we can apply to combating hate and standing up for justice today.
Sunday, April 23, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Learn about Jewish life before, during and after the Holocaust on erev Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day with Robin Wald.
Sunday, April 30, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Field trip to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC with Loen Amer.
Hot Topics: Why Is Immigration a Jewish Issue? led Rabbi Brusso with Robin Wald
Sunday, May 7, 14, and 21, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Explore current events and their effects on our lives with Rabbi Brusso. Course will be tailored to events in the world today.
Sunday, May 7, 12:00-12:45 p.m.
Members of the Bet Torah community will be invited to view photos taken by our teens, exploring the meaning of being Jewish. Your votes will select a photo to submit to the Jewish Lens @ Beit Hatfutsot Photo Competition.
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.
Once in a Lifetime Movie Screening and Panel with Rabbi Brusso
Sunday, March 19, 12:00 p.m. at the Jacob Burns Film Center
Once in a Lifetime tells the story of a history teacher at a French, Muslim-majority, underprivileged high school who presents her students with a face-to-face encounter with a Holocaust survivor, dramatically changing the students' attitudes.
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.
Our active youth groups are affiliated with International USY and the METNY Region of USY. Bet Torah has a high school group (USY), a middle school-aged group (Kadima), and group for 4th and 5th graders (Club 45). These groups are lead by enthusiastic, experienced, creative adult volunteers and our Director of Youth Engagement. In youth group, our young people become leaders, to meet Jewish teens in other communities, and experience the joys of Judaism beyond the classroom and home.
*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