JAMTY U has been designed for high school students to encourage meaningful learning for their entire high school journey. It will focus on connections with each other and forming one community.
Madrichim (8th – 12th Grade):
Being a Madrichim (Teacher’s Aide), they can gain leadership abilities and strengthen their connection to Judaism and Temple Beth Am.
Some of the responsibilities of Madrichim are to assist with administrative task; such as, taking attendance, collecting tzedakah, passing out flyers, assist with snack, and prepare supplies. Some of the more interactive task may include helping students with projects, leading groups during small group activities, create with teacher mini-lessons, read stories, and work one-on-one with students who may need extra assistance.
Students who volunteer in the Religious School earn service hours for school AND can receive a small stipend towards any events offered through youth group, NFTY, or school. Stipends will be provided based on the number of hours volunteered. Other volunteer opportunities may be available throughout the year to earn hours and stipend money towards event.
There will be monthly group meetings to discuss their progress in the classrooms, as well and one-on-one check ins to discuss personal growth.
8th & 9th Grade:
A Prism begins with a mifgash, or meeting, between the class and a guest from the community. The guest shares a conundrum for students to resolve, offering a prism through which to explore issues in Jewish values, belief, and action. Ownership is placed squarely in the hands of the students. The teachers work as facilitator and mentors, helping the students make sense of what they discover. At the end of each Prism, students present their findings to the guest, who can then put their ideas into action.
Students engage with themes from a variety of angles, or prisms, through which they come to new insight on the fundamental question, how does Judaism contribute to our understanding of the world around us? Prisms are multi-disciplinary, exploring many facets of Judaism. These include theology, history, values, literature, holidays, rituals, life cycle, current events, Hebrew, and Jewish culture (e.g. music, visual arts, theater, and food). Special topics integrate these areas with our local community, such as our congregation’s history and values, Israel, and the Holocaust. Resource materials activate all learning styles and include articles, videos, websites, apps, charts, traditional Jewish texts, interviews, and field trips.
The goals are for students to feel valued by making a contribution to others and society, enjoy the challenge and activities that stir curiosity, build character development and healthy relationships, and ownership over what and how they are learning.
10th & 11th Grade:
Confirmation is a ceremony that was created by the Reform Movement in the 19th century as a way to “confirm” Jewish identity in young people. At that time, the only Jewish coming-of-age ceremony was the Bar Mitzvah. Confirmation, a ceremony open to both young men and women, was instituted as a way for older teenagers to study together, have deep conversations about ethics and philosophy, and to bond as a community.
In keeping with our Reform Jewish heritage, Temple Beth Am offers a confirmation program for all 10th & 11th graders. Our Confirmation students meet for one year to engage in dialogue about their Jewish identity and the world in which they live. Topics would include current events as it relates to them as young Jewish men & women, ethics, and revisiting topics they learned at Religious school and how to approach them as adults. They engage in serious study with members of Temple Beth Am’s clergy, participate in social justice projects, and develop close relationships within the class. They celebrate this milestone at the end of the year during a Friday night Shabbat Service.
Yael Lawrence leads our 12th grade program. She has extensive experience and training working with young adults. Each month they choose a restaurant to meet at and here is a short synapsis of what students can expect:
"Social Awareness is the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others and from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports. Over the course of the year we will delve into a variety of social issues relevant to and chosen by the students such as but not limited to: relationships, bullying, changes in your life, love and hate, trust, gossip, jealousy, communication, worthiness/self-confidence and making the right choices. Our group will take topics and examine them from varying perspectives of peers, group leader and a Jewish lens."
All 8th – 12th grade students are also encouraged to participate in youth group. Please see our Youth Groups page for more information on our youth groups and upcoming programs.