The 9th Grade Community Organizing Class will work with a community organizer to develop a social justice campaign with their peers at CBE and beyond. They will begin by listening to determine which social problems are of greatest and deepest concern to teens in their neighborhood and at school. They will learn what Judaism has to say about these challenges and their solutions. They will then research the problems to determine what change they can achieve. This will include identifying a specific, small change that can be won, one that has an existing coalition to which they can contribute. It will include determining their realistic ability to make a difference in that coalition, and learning to articulate the Jewish sources that motivate Jewish action on the issue. They will then organize their peers into action on the issue, doing a power analysis, developing a strategy, and planning and executing an action. For the action, students will learn how to create effective turnout and about public speaking and talking with media. Finally, at the end of the year, they will learn how to effectively evaluate their work.
During the year the class travels south to journey with Etgar36 to learn about the Civil Rights Movement through exploring history, sites and current issues in various cities they visit. Through the trip students gain “tools and inspiration to take the next step beyond social action: social activism,” which they apply to their work back in Brooklyn.
In this culminating program for high school students at CBE, Rabbi Timoner engages CBE’s teens in sensitive conversations about the real stuff in their lives, creating a trust-filled home base for students with one another and their rabbis. In the Midrash and Talmud, Chazakah means ownership or possession of a personal status. In this final year of Yachad, our students take ownership of their Jewish heritage, as they define its meaning to them. Guiding questions are: What do I believe in? How does Judaism shape how I see the world? What does it mean to me to be a Jew? The year concludes with a ceremony on Shavuot, when the community celebrates receiving Torah and the students each offer their own unique expression of what their Jewish heritage means to them.
During the year students participate in the L’Taken Social Justice Seminar. Students are exposed to a “variety of public policy issues and explore the Jewish values that inform the Reform Movement’s advocacy around these issues. Throughout the weekend, [students are given] the knowledge and tools to write an effective, persuasive and passionate speech on a topic of [their] choice to present when [they] visit the offices of [their] Senators and Representatives on the Monday of the program.”
The 11th Grade class meets monthly to help students stay grounded in their Judaism and their Yachad community as high school work intensifies. The class discussions take cues from current events in our country and around the world as we explore contemporary renewal of global Jewish life in juxtaposition with the recent spike in modern antisemitism.
The 12th Grade curriculum is designed to prepare students for being Jewish on college campuses. We’ll talk about the nuances of pro-Israel and anti-Israel advocacy, especially as that debate appears on campus, and we’ll create an open and non-judgmental space for exploring personal beliefs and boundaries around Israel. We will also consider what it means to be a progressive Jew in a pluralistic Jewish setting, and what rituals and traditions might be most meaningful as students start making adult decisions for themselves.
BESTY is a teen run organization within CBE. We plan monthly programming for 9th-12th grade students. Our programming consists of events that focus on social justice, and sometimes our events are just social! To learn more about BESTY, email Teen Director Haley Breskin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Madrichim Program is open to high school students who are excited to enhance their knowledge of Judaism and Hebrew, and are enthusiastic about developing meaningful relationships with our students by serving as role models in the classroom. Madrichim (“leaders” in Hebrew) not only aid teachers in the classroom, but act as leaders at CBE. All madrichim receive monthly training in education and leadership development, and are supervised and coached by the Madrichim Program Supervisor, Kate Meltzer. Madrichim will be paid or receive school community service credit to work in classrooms with Yachad teachers and students.
It is CBE’s policy that madrichim must be enrolled in Yachad; if you have any questions about this, please contact Tehilah Eisenstadt at email@example.com. If you are interested in hearing more about the Madrichim Program or would like an application, please contact Kate Meltzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rosh Chodesh meets one Sunday a month at CBE. We use Jewish teachings and practices, to give girls a place to feel safe, articulate their deepest concerns, consider the impact of gender on their daily lives, have fun, and be ‘real’ with their peers. Through discussion, arts & crafts, creative ritual, games, and drama, the girls and their leader draw on Jewish values and a gender lens to explore the issues tweens and teens care about most.
Shevet re-imagines the transition from being a boy to being a young man through a space where male-identifying students could explore what masculinity and being Jewish means to them. Adult mentors explain that this program allows students to “decompress” from their stressful lives while being able to bring their full selves and personalities to deep discussions of what Judaism has to say about the ethical challenges of their everyday lives.
This group focuses on topics such as healthy relationships, stress, belonging, and identity. Teens explore issues through games, art, discussion, and by drawing on Jewish teachings. Tzelem seeks to enrich teens’ lives with these core outcomes: (1) Develop a strong self-concept and the social emotional skills to navigate through life. (2) Recognize and resist sexism personally and in their communities. (3) Experience Judaism and Jewish community as personally relevant and meaningful.
Kindergarten through High School students are expected to regularly attend Shabbat morning services. Shabbat is a time that allows us to build community, learn prayers, and become more comfortable in services. Attendance at Shabbat services is extremely important in the years leading up to a child’s B’nei Mitzvah. Students in 2nd – 8th grade who do not attend Yachad classes on Saturday are required to attend a minimum of seven Shabbat services throughout the year. There is also a monthly Yachad kiddush following services.