Students in Kitah Zayin (Grade 7) meet Monday nights for class. The 7th graders meet at the same time that our 8th-12th graders meet. 7th-12th graders enjoy pizza and social time from 6:00-6:40pm, then class from 6:40-8:00pm. At dinner, the teens take turns leading the blessings after the meal–Birkhat Hamazon. The 8th-12th graders are role models for the 7th graders to continue their Jewish learning in the Dor Hahemshekh program.
6:15-6:45pm Monthly social action projects with Lori Cohen on 9/21, 10/26, 11/23, 12/21, 1/11, 2/1, 3/1, 4/19, 5/3. Teens are invited to contact Lori to share project ideas and offer to help lead a project.
6:45-8:00pm 7th grade Class–see description below.
7th grade September – December
“The Three-Legged Stool”
Teachers: Rabbi Bronstein and Lori Cohen
Jewish teens need to think about growing themselves into “balanced” or “whole” Jewish adults. We will discover the delicate balance of Torah (“head” learning), Avodah (“heart” learning) and G’milut Chasadim (“hand” learning) that go together to make a workable Jewish life: Intellectual, spiritual, and social-political Jewish practice, like legs on a stool.
During the first half hour of class, Rabbi Bronstein will teach the seventh graders the following: a look at the Birkat Hamazon (Judaism’s after-dinner ritual of gratitude and mindfulness), and then a tour through the rituals of reading the Torah and observing Mourners’ Kaddish and the etiquette of Shiva.
During the rest of class time, Lori Cohen will inspire the students to explore how they would like to make a positive impact on issues that are important to them. Jewish texts and values as well as hands-on experiences will be integrated into this exploration. Seventh graders will also create a personalized yad (Torah pointer) to use when reading Torah at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah and beyond.
7th and 8th grade January – May
“Decision Making in Times of Injustice”
Teacher: Lori Cohen
Lori Cohen will help the seventh and eighth graders connect with one another, as they explore the following topics from a Jewish perspective: Racial Justice, Immigration, the Labor Movement, Shoah, 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.
In addition to the Monday night class, BAS students prepare for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the following ways:
- 7th graders and their parents will attend the Shabbat morning service in the Sanctuary on 1/30/21. 7th graders will participate in the Torah service. Rabbi Bronstein will lead an intergenerational Torah study. Families are invited to join the Kiddush lunch following the service.
- Rabbi Bronstein’s B’nai Mitzvah class meets on Sunday mornings. In this series of ~13 wonderful sessions, 7th graders and their parents study with the Rabbi in an intimate setting. This is a participatory class that incorporates the study of text and explores topics such as Torah, God, righteousness, prayer and the meaning of becoming B’nai Mitzvah.
- 7th graders begin to meet regularly outside of class with their individual Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutors to learn Torah and Haftarah trope and practice their readings.
- Each 7th grader meets 6-7 times one-on-one with Rabbi Bronstein to prepare his/her D’var Torah (reflections on the Torah and/or Haftarah readings). Through these meetings, their personal connection to the rabbi is strengthened.
- 7th graders rehearse for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the sanctuary with Rabbi Fredda Cohen.
- In recognition of their upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah, 7th graders are encouraged to live the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). There are many ways to volunteer in our community, and 7th graders are encouraged to choose a cause that has personal meaning to them–ideally, a cause they will support for years. Click here for BAS social action opportunities and Westchester social action opportunities.