Pre B’nei Mitzvah Program
Jewish Journeys Pre B’nei Mitzvah Program
The New Jewish Journeys program is an experiential program for students to explore their Jewish identity, build relationships with other students in the community and, for those who choose, prepare for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Jewish Journeys will meet on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-8:00pm, beginning with dinner (usually pizza and drinks). Throughout the year, we will have special guests from the community who will speak to the students, in addition to trips to Jewish sites around Montreal.
In order to make the program meaningful and enjoyable for a diverse group of students with various knowledge levels and backgrounds, the program will be a mix of informal learning, youth group style programming, field trips and family activities. Those students with less Jewish knowledge or experience in a Jewish community will meet with the rabbi to come up with a plan to “catch up” through reading, one on one learning and other activities. We will work to ensure that both day school students and beginners will find the program worthwhile.
The program will begin and end with a family Shabbaton which will begin on Saturday afternoon at the synagogue. This is an opportunity for parents and families to get to know each other and for students to continue to explore their Jewish identity and the B’Nai Mitzvah process. We are also hoping to plan a group trip to New York City in May if funding and schedules make it possible.
For those students who choose to have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony, familys will arrange meetings with a tutor and the rabbi for preparation and planning. For details see the B’Nai Mitzvah Guidebook.
Tuesday, January 10th-Tuesday, June 6th (18-20 sessions TBA dependent on holidays)
Family Shabbaton, Saturday, January 21 (afternoon and evening with dinner)
Shabbaton and Sleepover, May 6th
New York City Trip, TBA
The regular schedule for each evening:
6:00-6:20 Dinner and check in
6:20-7:00 Interactive learning activity
7:15-8:00 Music/Prayer and/or Jewish news updates and group project
Each session will include:
Identity Building: An exploration of students’ Jewish identity, through activities, interactive games and discussions.
Text study, with a focus on Talmud and other Rabbinic texts. Students will learn basic skills for studying the texts, including historical background, key personalities and vocabulary. Students will explore the texts and wrestle with contemporary issues and challenges in an interactive way, with a focus on issues relevant to teens.
Middot (Jewish Values): Throughout the year, we will explore the roots of traditional Jewish values (ie. protecting the environment, caring for our bodies, promoting peace), and work on individual and group projects around these themes.
Ritual experiments: Students will explore Jewish concepts of spirituality, will look at specific Jewish rituals and practices, and explore the many ways that contemporary Jews have made them meaningful and relevant to their lives. They will delve deeper into more well-known practices and try out lesser known rituals and spiritual exercises. Through text study, group discussions, writing and art we will try to make these ancient practices our own.
Field Trips and Nature Excursions: We will visit local and regional sights, including other places of worship, and visit local parks and natural areas as part of our exploration of spirituality.
Other activities include:
Lessons on Canadian Jewish history, immigration to Canada and the US
Sessions on Yiddish Language, culture and humor
Jewish folklore and storytelling, creation and participation in Dorshei Emet Storytelling Festival
Exploration of Jewish food traditions (with cooking)
A class mitzvah project
Designing the “ideal synagogue”
Jewish identity workshops
“Hot Topics” for Jewish teens: relationships, sexuality, social justice, and chosenness
Prices (Subject to Change) :
Tuition: $400 for half session this year (incl food)
Field Trips extra
Sleepover TBA (approx $100)
Participants need to be members in good standing