Temple Beth El focuses on building relationships among its families and creating a sense of group identity among student peer groups. To further this effort, fifth- and sixth-graders participate in retreats to connect with peers and their families. In fifth grade, students participate in a “mini-retreat,” a one-night event at the synagogue. The event is intended to build relationships among fifth-graders in a familiar space for no more than one night, helping to reduce anxiety about being away from home. In sixth grade, all students attend a weekend-long retreat with at least one parent (all family members are invited to attend) at a retreat center.
Parents and children alike have opportunities to build relationships with their respective peers.
Grade levels: 5, 6
Learners: Children (pre-B’nai Mitzvah), Parents, Siblings
Everyone in the target audience is required to participate in the program.
Year Implemented: 2013
Temple Beth El of South Orange County
Aliso Viejo, CA
B’nai Mitzvah each year: 40