Temple Israel’s Teen Education Program engages teens as participants in Jewish educational experiences that are relevant to their day-to-day lives. Students learn to advocate for themselves and their needs and develop as leaders who have ownership and agency over their education and what their Judaism means to them.
A Jewish Learning Community for Greater Boston Teens at Temple Israel of Boston. In partnership with our Jewish neighbors, we connect teens with a diversity of voices to strengthen them as learners, as thinkers, and as young American Jews.
Every year, a cohort of teens serve as student teachers. The goal of the Madrichim Program is to help our teens develop as leaders and teachers, and to provide our Religious School students with excellent role models. Teens apply to the program in the spring and are offered positions over the summer. Each student receives a small volunteer stipend each semester.
Throughout the year, Madrichim focus on developing skills in small group facilitation, classroom management, and experiential lesson-planning. In addition to hands on learning in the classroom, Madrichim will also receive targeted support and training on differentiated instruction in a series of six development meetings led by experts in the field.
Teens also have the opportunity to work as library assistants in the Dr. Arnold L. Segel Library Center on Sundays, with our librarian, Ann Abrams. Library assistants learn the basics of working in a library, such as shelving, checking items in and out, assisting library users with research questions, as well as other projects that may come up. The application process and stipend are the same as mentioned above.
RYFTI - Reform Youth Federation of Temple Israel
RYFTI teens join together for fun, informal, Jewish experiences. RYFTI holds monthly activities that range from scavenger hunts in Harvard Square to apple picking. Along with the monthly activities, there are two weekend Kallot held each year: Fall Kallah (November) and Clergy Weekend (May). These weekend getaways are a time for the teens to bond, have fun, and engage in excellent peer-led learning. RYFTI is led by a teen board, elected by their peers each Spring. RYFTI is an affiliate of NFTY- North East.
All 8th graders begin their journey with Our Whole Lives (OWL), an innovative approach to Jewish social/emotional values-based learning. During their semester together, students and staff spend a weekend in New York City to bond as a cohort and explore the history of American Judaism. OWL was awarded the Association of Reform Jewish Educator’s (ARJE) Yad b’Yad Award for Innovative Approaches to Youth and/or Teen Mental Health in 2016.
The annual 8th grade class trip to New York City is one of our longest-running and best programs. On this fun and meaningful weekend, our 8th graders trace major moments of the Jewish refugee experience in America, consider the origins of American Jewish identity, and reflect on the lasting connection between Jews and Refugees in America today. Over the course of the weekend we visit Ellis Island, welcome Shabbat at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, eat great food, tour the 9/11 Museum and Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and see a Broadway Show. Most of all, this trip is a joyful experience that builds a stronger connection among our 8th graders.
A Yearlong Experience for 10th Graders at Temple Israel of Boston
Temple Israel of Boston 10th graders spend a year together building community and grappling with the questions that help them define their personal relationship to Judaism. The Confirmation Year includes:
Spend 24 hours with your classmates – sleep over at Temple Israel, spend the day out in Boston, eat great food, share a special Shabbat, and work to envision your year together.
Spend wonderful learning time with Rabbis Zecher, Soffer, and Jacobson, exploring questions of great meaning to you. You’ll also have the special opportunity to work with Cantor Einhorn on creating your Confirmation Service. For your other class block on Monday nights, you’ll be able to make a choice from The Tent’s excellent slate of elective classes.
Join hundreds of other Reform Movement teens in a weekend of civic engagement. Share Shabbat, tour D.C., experience havdalah at the Jefferson Memorial, and more. On Monday morning, you’ll have meetings in the offices of your own federal Senators and Representative, where you will advocate on a Reform Movement campaign of your choosing.
In this Temple Israel Shabbat service, you’ll help to tell our congregation about our teen community’s participation in L’Taken and in the whole arc of our social justice and compassion work.
Shavuot Morning. The culmination of your Confirmation year. As a class, you will lead our congregation in a service you helped create. Through the service, you’ll inspire our community with some of the things you’ll have taken away from your Confirmation experience.