Seventh graders and their parents attend an eight-session experience in Torah study with the rabbi. Students sit around a table, with their parents sitting directly behind them in a circle, and take turns reading selected verses out loud. After a second reading, students raise questions, make comments, and share surprises – anything that comes to mind. During these sessions, the parents are asked to sit quietly and listen to their children. The rabbi explains that the parents’ job is to listen to their children, and the children’s job is to engage enough in the discussion that their parents have something to listen to. Each session begins with a meal and socializing time and includes a 15-minute break. The rabbi is available to all parents and children during this time for questions and conversation. The social times of the program are intended to build community among seventh graders’ families.
This program is a vehicle to bring parents into Torah study in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or act as a stumbling block to the 7th graders’ abilities to learn.
Grade levels: 7
Learners: Children (pre-B’nai Mitzvah), Parents
Everyone in the target audience is required to participate in the program.
Year Implemented: 2002
Woodlands Community Temple
White Plains, N.Y.
B’nai Mitzvah each year: 35