Grades 8-12

"Dor Hahemshekh" (DHH) means "The Next Generation," and that is how we view our post B'nai Mitzvah middle and high school students at Bet Am Shalom - as torch bearers who will carry Jewish tradition into the future. We offer serious learning for our young adults who are ready to grapple with complex philosophical, theological and moral issues.

Traditional texts and subjects are taught in an environment that encourages free expression, respect for varying traditions, and thoughtful discourse.

Dor Hahemshekh meets weekly on Monday nights, starting at 6pm with pizza dinner and concluding at 8pm.

To discover the impact our DHH program has had, read the following words from the DHH students:

  • Click here for past 10th graders' reflections on their learning at DHH, which they presented at our final program.
  • Click here for past DHH seniors' graduation speeches.

Calendar with links for more information about events.

Teen community programs and social programs, including retreats

Social Action Opportunities

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DHH Programs and Classes

Madrichim Program
Madrichim Teacher and Supervisor: May Zamechek

Learn the skills to work as a grades K-6 teacher's aide, in our Shorashim program, youth group, or on Shabbat mornings as a Youth Service Leader. The word madrich means "guide" or "instuctor." 

  • All of our madrichim are continuing their Jewish education either in our Dor Hahemshekh program on Monday nights or at other Jewish education programs. They serve as role models for the younger children to continue their Jewish education.
  • DHH 8th graders will receive Madrichim training as part of their class with May Zamechek. During the class, they will learn teaching and leadership skills for a Jewish setting.  8th graders will also observe classes/programs outside of class time.  8th graders may be asked to volunteer to be teachers' aides if needed.
  • 9th-12th graders who have completed the Madrichim training can work as madrichim and be paid or earn community service hours.  They touch base with May about their experiences as madrichim.  Those with classroom experience also have the opportunity to plan and teach a lesson with guidance from the teacher and May.  

Contact Education Director Abby Reiken for more information.

Kitah Chet/8th Grade:

May Zamechek, Instructor

"Jewish Journeys"
From September to December the students will learn leadership skills through the madrichim training (see above). From January to the end of the school year, the teens will explore Jewish journeys of the past to better understand who we are today. The course will include aspects of Jewish history from the 1880's to the 1920's in Europe and America.  The students will discover how Jewish values guided our ancestors' activism. Through discussions, text study, and small group projects, we will learn from our ancestors how we can respond to similar challenges today, such as immigration and labor laws. 

Kitah Tet/9th Grade:

Lori Cohen, Instructor

"Decision Making in Times of Injustice"
Our Kitah Tet will explore the following topics from a Jewish perspective: US elections, the Holocaust, the Civil Rights Movement, and poverty in the US. The curriculum includes experiential activities, compelling videos, Jewish texts, primary sources, thought-provoking simulations, and speakers. Teens will be empowered and inspired to perform tikkun olam (repairing the world).  This course uses materials from Facing History and Ourselves and the Jewish Women's Archive "Living the Legacy" curriculum.

Kitah Yod/10th Grade:

First period (6:35-7:15pm) "Torah Beyond The Torah: Judaism’s Approach to Thinking About How We Should Live" with Eric Levine
It is often surprising how much of traditional and modern Judaism is only loosely connected to the text of the Torah itself. Through rather free interpretation of the Torah and the introduction of a layer of “Oral Law,” Rabbinic Judaism has developed its own approach to thinking about how we should live ethically and spiritually as Jews. We will introduce this approach and see how it is applied today in the four modern movements: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist. We will look at concrete issues of modern interest through traditional and modern sources, including “Responsa” literature, to see how the Rabbis of all streams of Judaism have discussed and continue to discuss all aspects of ritual, ethical, practical and spiritual life.

Second period (7:20-8pm): "My Jewish Beliefs" with Rabbi Les Bronstein
What is the Jewish view of God? Of Torah? Of evil? Of Jewish peoplehood and the purpose of Jewish life? It depends on what century you’re talking about! We will study “theology” (the study of God-belief) in the Bible, in the Rabbinic period, in Maimonides (12th c), in Luria (16th c), in Spinoza (17th c), in Chassidic teaching (18th -19th c), and among the great Jewish thinkers of the 20th and 21st centuries (Kaplan, Buber, Heschel, Green, Kushner, Plaskow, and more!). At year’s end, each of us will try to articulate our OWN Jewish beliefs.

Kitah Yod-Alef/11th Grade & Kitah Yod-Bet/12th Grade:

First period (6:35-7:15pm): "Torah and Spirit, Israel and Soul" with Rabbi Les Bronstein
Each week we will work through a short, powerful selection aimed at finding spiritual and personal insights into the weekly Torah portion.  Together we will discover how the Torah continues to speak to our growth as Jews and as human beings.  Additionally, we will study profound readings about the Land of Israel and the modern search for a Jewish state.  We will want to discover why our Jewish people chose to create the State of Israel; what it means to the soul of our identity as Jews today; how Palestinians (and other non-Jewish residents) understand their relationship to the land; and why Israel’s very existence is so controversial.

Second period (7:20-8pm) "Living Jewishly Post High School" with Abby Reiken
We'll discuss ways to engage in Jewish living and learning after high school. The course will include exploring Jewish factors in choosing a college, Jewish life on campus, and leading Jews of different ages in learning together. We will study current topics from a Jewish perspective, utilizing Jewish sources and news reports. The teens will prepare to teach a topic in order to gain skills they can apply in the future to lead a Jewish youth event or teach a Jewish class to youth or adults.

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