Jewish Discovery Lab at Beth Am
⇒ Download a 2013–14 JDL registration form
Beth Am’s Jewish Discovery Lab was featured in a recent article in the Jewish Times
An educational community dedicated to exploring, encountering, engaging and experiencing Judaism
Re-envisioning the traditional model for a supplemental educational experience for Beth Am’s youth, the Jewish Discovery Lab has been created to be an interactive, individualized approach to Jewish learning focusing on core areas of Jewish knowledge and transforming them into relevant Jewish experiences.
For students entering Kindergarten through sixth grade, the Jewish Discovery Lab of Beth Am will:
- Emphasize student and teacher strengths
- Provide level-specific, small-group Hebrew lessons
- Explore food and sustainability in the grade-level Tikkun Olam Education Initiative
- Impart vital Judaic knowledge through a variety of media
- Incorporate Tefillah (praying), discussion and singing to build a comprehensive and intimate davening community
- Include community-wide and family programming throughout the year
- Focus on individual and challenging learning objectives
- Work though a vision of doing, thinking, being
The following curriculum areas will be covered by this new model:
Hebrew, holidays, Tefillah (prayer), Shabbat, Mitzvoth, Bible, History, God, Ethics and Values, Israel and Tikkun Olam (social action)
The Jewish Discovery Lab will also meet once a month on Shabbat. Teachers will provide supplemental, Shabbat-appropriate activities for students in kindergarten through the second grade and a separate program for third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders. There will also be family services geared for kindergarten through second grade and third through sixth grade, with some overlap so that there is opportunity for the entire educational community to pray together. Everyone will end together in the Sanctuary where the children will lead prayers from the Bimah.
In addition, three Shabbattot have been designated for the students from various grades to lead. The calendar also includes special programming for Hanukkah, Passover, Lag B’Omer, Earth Day and Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Some of these will be family education programs.
Post B’nai Mitzvah
For students entering seventh through ninth grade, the successful Avodah program combines hands-on, transformative social action with in-home dinner meetings and discussions led by Beth Am’s clergy. These sessions will dovetail with the Kadima/United Synagogue Youth groups that will also be rolled out in the fall. All students in these grades, including those who attend day school, are encouraged to attend both Avodah and USY.
For our high school students, there are two learning opportunities available.
The Madrichim Program, designed for 10th through 12th graders, gives students the opportunity to give back! These high school Madrichim are trained to work in the classroom as educators and role models for our younger students. The Madrichim participate in online training sessions to learn how to teach in a classroom setting and how to apply it in congregational Jewish education.
Beit Midrash is an informal monthly discussion led by Rabbi Daniel Burg on a variety of topics based on traditional Jewish texts.