MIDDLE SCHOOL MIDRASHA AND B’NEI MITZVAH PROGRAM (GRADES 6 & 7)
Sundays, 9:15am to 12:15pm
Our Middle School Midrasha is proud to offer a dynamic and robust program! Students split their time between Jewish core class and b’nai mitzvah studies with a student-led learning tefilah and oneg in between. While in Jewish core, students engage with Judaism through a variety of topics while working to establish their own Jewish identity. They delve into topics such as Jewish history, world Jewry, art, and food. During b’nei mitzvah studies students work with Cantor Cahana, peer tutors, and experienced Hebrew teachers. Starting in 7th grade, b’nei mitzvah lessons take place in the main sanctuary where students practice for their services. For those 7th grade students who have already become a b’nai mitzvah, we offer a special course called Mitzvah Makers. In this class, students focus on social justice and how to put their b’nei mitzvah projects into action. They learn about social justice issues around the world and decide how they can make a difference in Portland through advocacy, education, and service!
HIGH SCHOOL MIDRASHA (GRADES 8-12)
Sundays, 12:15pm to 2:15pm
8th grade and High School students are ready for the next step on their Jewish Journey and to begin establishing their leadership within our community. They start their day with lunch and socializing with friends. They then break off by grade into their Jewish Core classes. Following these core classes, students participate in mixed-grade electives. These classes can range from music to Hebrew Calligraphy! Our midrasha program can also frequently be found having collaborative youth group and guest program-led days or on weekend retreats to NFTY, the North American Federation of Temple Youth.
8th to 10th grade students spend time delving into what the sage Hillel meant by “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
8th grade students focus on, “If am not for myself, who will be for me?” They spend time engaging in a deeper discussion of who they are and what makes up their Jewish identities.
9th grade students continue this lesson and expand out to discuss, “If I am only for myself, what am I?” They examine how Jewish values and ethics can influence their world. Starting in 9th grade, students may also choose to work as Madrichim (classroom aides) in lower grades to gain valuable background and experience that can be applied to future roles in education.
10th grade students take the, “if not now, when,” aspect and put the students’ Jewish values and social action interests into action in a culminating trip to Washington, D.C. Here they lobby with the Religious Action Center’s program L’Taken. Following L’Taken, 10th grade students lead the community in a Shavuot confirmation ceremony.
11th grade students spend the year focusing on comparative religions. They meet with a variety of religious leaders and travel to different religious sites. While in 11th grade, students become eligible for scholarships to travel to Israel on NFTY in Israel trips.
In 12th grade, students meet with clergy to discuss any “lasting and burning questions,” that they may have about Judaism. This course ends with a beautiful graduation service which is created and let by the seniors.