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YOUTH BET MIDRASH

Bet Midrash Open House
Saturday, September 11th at 9:30am
No Registration Necessary
Students to meet with 2 teachers
Parents to meet with Rabbi Ariann
Stay afterward to join Shabbat services

August 16, 2021

Bet Midrash, a place of learning, growth, expansion, and exploration. The early rabbis coined this phrase to describe the place where Judaism could grow and evolve to meet the needs of our current lives. Our own Bet Midrash at Bnai Keshet is a place where children and adults live out their Judaism and experiment with new ideas, new experiences, and new possibilities.

In this time of Covid, we will continue to be guided by courage, optimism, resilience, and love, values that are woven throughout our curriculum and woven into our communal decision-making processes.

Our plan for the coming year is to have in-person classes available for all students throughout the year. Our plans, as always, will be guided by three essential considerations:

  • the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of our students;
  • the comfort and trust of our students’ parents;
  • and the physical safety of our staff and faculty in light of ever-changing local infection rates and vaccine rates, and following the guidelines of our medical task force.

Join us for our Open House on September 11th at 9:30am to learn more about our program. Registration is ongoing and we look forward to having you as part of our congregational and learning community.

Click here for Adult Bet Midrash

Bet Midrash Schedule

The full calendar is available here

Class

 Monday

Wednesday

Shabbat

Pre-K

(See dates here)

   

 Workshop 9:00am - 10:15am
 Tot Shabbat 10:15am - 11:00am

 Gan (K)
 Alef (1)
 Bet (2)

   

 9:00am - 12:00pm

 Gimmel (3)
 Dalet (4)
 Hey (5)

 

 4:15pm - 6:00pm

 9:00am - 12:00pm

 Vav (6)
 Zayin (7)

 5:30pm - 8:00pm

 

 9:00am - 12:00pm

 Eighth Grade

 6:30pm - 8:00pm, Sept - Jan

plus Sunday trips

   

BK Teens

(High School)

Dinner with Rabbis once a month on Fridays
 BBYO 2 times per month on Tuesdays

 Bet Midrash is closed during most Montclair school closings, long weekends, and most Jewish holidays.
 Closings for inclement weather are announced through our website and e-mail blasts. When schools close early for inclement weather or cancel afterschool activities, Bet Midrash will also close.

What makes Bnai Keshet’s Bet Midrash unique?

Our Bet Midrash program puts a uniquely Reconstructionist spin on the breadth and depth of the Jewish experience.

Our curriculum includes:

Jewish celebrations and holidays; mitzvot (commandments) and rituals; lifecycle; liturgical practice, language, and history; the weekly Torah portion and major stories of the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible); Jewish history; rabbinic texts; the land and state of Israel; Jewish ethics and values; the many faces of klal Yisrael (the Jewish people); Hebrew reading and writing, basic translation of prayer and modern texts, and simple Hebrew conversation.  Reconstructionist principles of egalitarianism, values-based communal decision making, and the evolution of Jewish civilization underlie all of our teachings.

Our holiday curriculum is taught as a “spiral” curriculum, which means the same topics are covered over several years, with a varying focus each year.  While 3rd graders explore the Jewish calendar as a whole and touch on every holiday, 5th graders explore the holidays related especially to themes of freedom and 6th graders explore holidays through a lens of tikkun olam and social justice.

Our Bible curriculum is a hybrid of spiral and sequential learning. Our students study Torah stories from kindergarten through fourth grade with an emphasis on Genesis, Exodus, and Deuteronomy.  In fifth and sixth grade they study Prophets and Writings (particularly those related to holidays).  In 7th grade, they return to Torah and work on parshat hashavua.  While we learn holidays and Bible in a particularly Reconstructionist way, with an emphasis on the historical arc of Judaism and the global diversity of Judaism, and with an abundance of music, movement, and art.

Our values and Jewish ideas curriculum is unique to Bnai Keshet and is deeply connected to our Family Education program.  Each grade has a theme for the year which guides their study, although of course discussion of bigger Jewish ideas and values comes up repetitively.  For example, fourth-graders focus on kedushah (holiness) and so their core curriculum is centered on questions of spirituality and theology.  Our seventh graders have a focus of hochma (wisdom), and through that focus on how we derive wisdom from our sacred texts, how to have hard conversations, and questions of ethics.

Finally, our electives curriculum allows students to choose to deeply study an area of the Jewish experience that speaks to their Jewish lives. New electives are developed each year taking into account student interest, faculty expertise, and responding to contemporary issues. Past electives have included Introductory Yiddish, Sibling Rivalry in the Torah, Jewish Dream Interpretation, Writing out own Haggadah, Jewish Artists, Contemporary Jewish Music, Jews and the history of the Civil Rights Movement, Reframing Israel, Kosher Cooking, Seven Species Cooking, Jews in Nature (conducted outdoors), Youth Choir, and many others.

Our Principles

Class Descriptions

Contact:

Rabbi Ariann Weitzman, Associate Rabbi & Director of Congregational Learning
Mindy Schwartz, VP for Education

Fri, October 22 2021 16 Cheshvan 5782