Students embark on a six- to eight-month experience in preparation for becoming b’nai mitzvah, which includes three components: Torah, avodah (worship), and g’milut chasadim (action/value). Students begin their journeys by studying their given Torah portions, and, through the course of study, they pick one value in their portion that they wish to explore further. They then design projects to help them live out and explore that value, and they prepare a creative presentation about their experiences for the b’nai mitzvah services.
Temple Israel began this project with b’nai mitzvah students, along with developing a values-based curriculum for first graders. Eventually, the congregation plans to have an entirely values-based curriculum from first grade through high school.
Grade levels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Learners: Children (pre-B’nai Mitzvah), Parents
Families have the option of enrolling in the program instead of the regular educational offerings.
Year Implemented: 2013
B’nai Mitzvah each year: 20