Jewish Journeys Pre B’nei Mitzvah Program

The Jewish Journeys program is an experiential program for students to explore their Jewish identity, build relationships with other students in the community and to prepare for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Download the full Jewish Journeys guide here.

Jewish Journeys meets 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.  Hebrew reading tutoring can be arranged. 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. 

The regular schedule for each evening:

6:00-6:20    Dinner and check in

6:20-7:00    Interactive learning activity

7:00-7:15    Break

7:15-8:00    Music/Prayer and/or Jewish news updates and group project

 

Tuesdays, 19 sessions plus 1 Shabbat workshop & 1 Shabbaton

2017

November 7,14,21,28  plus Shabbat workshop,  November 18th

December 5,12,19  

2018

January 9, 16, 23, 30   

February 6, 13, 20, 27

March 6, 13, 20, 27  

Final Shabbaton TBA

 

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 and spirituality:  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.

This year we are also honored to have Carmela Aigen lead workshops throughout the year as part of the program.

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.  Field Trips: Papermans Funeral Home, Jewish Public Library and others TBA

Other activities include:

  • Wimple building workshop with Carmela Aigen
  • Sessions on Yiddish Language, culture and humor
  • Exploring Judaism through art with Carmela Aigen
  • Exploration of Jewish food traditions (with cooking)
  • A class mitzvah project
  • Designing the “ideal synagogue”
  • Jewish identity workshops
  • “Hot Topics” for Jewish teens: relationships, social justice, and chosenness
 

Wed, December 13 2017 25 Kislev 5778