Welcome to  Grades 8 - 12


It is our goal at TBA that every teen continues to be involved in Jewish life after Bar/Bat Mitzvah in some way. Our community is a place where teens and their families should feel safe and valued at all times. We believe that being involved in Jewish life is not just another activity in your schedule, but it is a part of your identity.  With this in mind, we have several paths for teens to take in order to continue to develop their Jewish identity and connection with the community.  For some teens, just one of these programs may stand out; for others, there may be several that interest them.  If you find that you or your teen were hoping for another option that is not offered, please do not hesitate to reach out and share your ideas.  We look forward to connecting with you individually about what may be the best fit for involvement.

Heidi Baker

Director of Education

Myriam Rofrano

Assistant Director of Education K - 12

Haderech... The Way

Sundays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m

Participants can choose tracks that are interesting to them and fit the needs of their schedules. Each track meets on a different Sunday approximately once a month, so teens may take 1 or more tracks. The classes are activity based with a curriculum that builds each month so it is important that students are able to attend most of the classes in their track. The program meets from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Sundays. Rotating tracks include: 

  • Introduction for 1st year Madrichim/Teen Assistants (Myriam Rofrano): In this track, teens will learn fundamental leadership skills for working in our school and with children in general. The teens will work together as well as in small groups to practice their skills in an interactive experience. This track is required for anyone who is in their first year as a teen assistant.  

  • Leadership 2.0 (Becky Oliver): For teens who are looking to improve their leadership skills beyond the basic level, this track will allow you to focus more in depth on what it means to be a leader at TBA and in other places.  Students will pick an area of focus to develop over the course of the year and will receive a certificate of completion and expertise in the leadership area.  

  • Cooking Club (Myriam Rofrano): Join us for this fun and interactive class that will focus on different Jewish cooking from around the world and for various holidays.  The group will spend the majority of time in the kitchen.  No experience or skill necessary!  

  • Rosh /Shevet (Kate Shoolman, Ian Simpson, Myriam Rofrano): Separated by gender, these groups use games, media, arts, and conversation to bring Jewish values and practice into every day adolescent concerns. The program is part of a national organization, Moving Traditions, which provides training and curriculum to our staff facilitators. The meetings are tailored to the interests of the teens involved and vary based on their needs.  

  • Study with Rabbi (Rabbi Stern): For students who are interested in more in depth study. We are offering a study group. The topics will be determined by Rabbi Stern and the students in the course.  

  • Music Madrichim (Ian Simpson): Teen assistants who are focusing on music will participate in their training course during Taglit on Sunday mornings. If they are in their first year, they are also required to take the first year course.   

Midrasha... Interpret

Mondays, 6:15 - 8:30 p.m. (includes dinner)

Midrasha is a weekly program on Monday evenings that is intended to frame the start of the week in a stress free atmosphere that encourages community building and personal growth. The evening begins with dinner at 6:15 p.m. and classes end at 8:30 p.m. We understand that students cannot attend every week for the entire time and are flexible with the schedule and the attendance. Midrasha focuses on personal identity, current events, and ethical dilemmas through a Jewish lens. Classes are generally discussion style with student input into topics and modes of learning in the class.  Many classes are grade based with some opportunities for mixed grade learning. Below is the general focus of each grade's curriculum: 

  • Grade 8 (Becky Oliver): How are prejudice, discrimination, and hate present in today's society and what can we do to stand up for our beliefs? Why is it important to remember the Holocaust? 

  • Grade 9 (Myriam Rofrano): What are core values within Judaism that can inform every day decisions in high school? What are the issues that I am confronted with and how can my actions reflect my values? 

  • Grade 10 (Ian Simpson): What is the Jewish responsibility for other communities, free speech vs. offensive speech, the environment, relationships, etc.? What are the issues we can't ignore and what does Judaism say about them?   

  • Grade 11 (David List): How do the broader systems that I am a part of - school, sports, clubs, politics, etc. - function in ethical ways? How would I respond to complex ethical dilemmas? 

  • Grade 12 (Rabbi Keith Stern): What do I believe to be true about the world and how will I respond to issues as I move out of high school? What values has Judaism instilled in me that I take with me?  

Kehillah... Community

Days and Times Vary

Throughout the year, teens have the opportunity to participate in a variety of Kehillah programs that focus on informal connections and deepening Jewish identity and community. Programs are facilitated by full time staff and clergy of TBA. These programs may be grade level or mixed grade and students can sign up for each individually. Activities include: 

  • Grade 8 Trip to Washington DC  

  • Grade 9 Trip to NYC  

  • Grade 10 Trip to Israel 

  • Grades 11 & 12 Trip 

  • BAYGL events: TBA's teen youth group includes social events, social action programs, and cultural activities planned by a teen board. 

  • NFTY-Northeast regional youth group: Events with other teens across the northeast that include social programs, social action projects, educational activities, leadership development, and community building.  

  • MidraSHIR teen choir: Opportunity to sing at Newbridge, lead the Teen Shabbat, and sing at the Bamel Music Shabbat    

Temple Beth Avodah, a member of the reform movement, is led by Rabbi Keith Stern.  Learn more about our soulful services, including Jazz Shabbat, Early Learning Center's Jewish preschool, truly unique Religious School experience, vibrant Men's and Women's groups, meaningful adult learning and so much more! All are welcome here.TBA’s doors are open to all. We welcome participation of people of all races, ethnic identities, gender identities, sexual orientations, physical and mental abilities, ages, and religious backgrounds.

© 2015 by Temple Beth Avodah


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