B’nei Mitzvah and Beyond!

The High School Years

Jewish learning and community building continues both during and after bar/bat mitzvah at Temple Sinai as we continue to mentor youth.  Jewish studies and explorations, travel and opportunities to become a Jewish leader help foster a strong Jewish identity and peer group for students in Grades 7 to 12.

  • Grade 7 – B’nei Mitzvah

    At Temple Sinai, bar/bat mitzvah is an important milestone along the way to Jewish adulthood and advanced Jewish learning. Rather than being an exit or a point of departure or from our school community, it is really the entry point to our young adult programs and pathways to confirmation.

    School Program

    Classes meet Tuesday evenings from 7.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. during the school year, a big shift from Sunday mornings. The B’nei Mitzvah Institute takes place on three Tuesday evening sessions that bring parents and students together including day school and religious school families.  The focus of the year is the “mitzvah” in bar/bat mitzvah. We examine how and why tzedakah (righteousness) is important for living a Jewish life and for helping children learn to make adult decisions.

    Lech Lecha – Temple Sinai’s Travel Experience

    When Abraham leaves his home to set out on a journey of discovery, he is told lech lecha, go forth. Temple Sinai encourages our youth to set out on their own journey of Jewish discovery by offering unforgettable travel experiences.

    Grades 7 and 8 youth travel as one community. We rotate each year between Boston and Southwestern Ontario.

    In Boston, we walk the Freedom Trail exploring the idea of freedom as young people. Do we have freedom? What do we do with freedom? How do we help those who do not have freedom? Memorable attractions include Fenway Park, the Great Duck Tour, Harvard University and Max Brenner-The Israeli Chocolate Man.

    In Southwestern Ontario, we consider our role in community through experiencing the Six Nations community and small-town Jewish life. We take advantage of the beauty of Ontario by spending time amongst the trees and rivers. We raft, hike and explore. We work as a team and relax by the campfire. A visit to the Residential School Museum opens our eyes to a part of the Canadian narrative we must work to reconcile. We laugh and play in Niagara Falls and finish at a Jewish dairy farm.

    Junior Youth Group (JYG)

    JYG is a fun and relaxing way to unwind with your Temple Sinai community. Some favourite activities have been Raptors games, Laser Tag, Ninja Gym and gaming. We focus on building community and a lot of fun!

    Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation

    No matter on which journey your child embarks, they will acquire the skills, confidence and support they need to stand proudly at their b’nei mitzvah chanting Torah and Haftarah. We employ modern teaching techniques and utilize digital media to make learning accessible and engaging. There are two options for learning and preparing at Temple Sinai:

    1. K’hillah: Temple Sinai’s Group Learning Experience, Tuesdays, 6.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
    Young people come together weekly for a peer-learning experience devoted to skill building, community building and confidence building. Each class begins with a community building activity, group learning of blessings and pizza dinner. Youth then break into one-on-one or small-group learning with peer mentors to focus on their specific portion. Peer mentors are post-B’nei Mitzvah students who have committed to sharing their chanting skills with new students. Learn more about this exciting program from our youth participants and peer mentors: https://youtu.be/6n_r5BJTuio.

    2. One-on-One Lessons, Tuesdays, 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. and Thursdays, 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
    Youth engage in 20-minute sessions with Cantor Katie Oringel and teacher, Aron Katz, to build skills and confidence.

    Click here to download the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Workbook.

  • The focus for grade 8 is the core values of Judaism through the exploration of other religious traditions found in Toronto. Students participate in field trips to other religious institutions that offer opportunities to compare and contrast various religious observances and practices. Students also make new connections to Israeli culture by learning about the diversity of religious groups in Israel.

    Lech Lecha – Temple Sinai’s Travel Experience

    When Abraham leaves his home to set out on a journey of discovery, he is told lech lecha, go forth. Temple Sinai encourages our youth to set out on their own journey of Jewish discovery by offering unforgettable travel experiences.

    Grades 7 and 8 youth travel as one community. We rotate each year between Boston and Southwestern Ontario.

    In Boston, we walk the Freedom Trail exploring the idea of freedom as young people. Do we have freedom? What do we do with freedom? How do we help those who do not have freedom? Memorable attractions include Fenway Park, the Great Duck Tour, Harvard University and Max Brenner-The Israeli Chocolate Man.

    In Southwestern Ontario, we consider our role in community through experiencing the Six Nations community and small-town Jewish life. We take advantage of the beauty of Ontario by spending time amongst the trees and rivers. We raft, hike and explore. We work as a team and relax by the campfire. A visit to the Residential School Museum opens our eyes to a part of the Canadian narrative we must work to reconcile. We laugh and play in Niagara Falls and finish at a Jewish dairy farm.

    Junior Youth Group (JYG)

    JYG is a fun and relaxing way to unwind with your Temple Sinai community. Some favourite activities have been Raptors games, Laser Tag, Ninja Gym and gaming. We focus on building community and a lot of fun!

    K’hillah Peer Mentor

    Youth who have become bar/bat mitzvah are welcome to become peer mentors. They work one on one with upcoming students on chanting, Hebrew, public speaking and confidence building. If you would like to refresh your chanting skills of bring your special skill to the k’hillah, contact Cantor Katie Oringel.

  • In grades 9 and 10 students focus on current issues that are relevant to them with an emphasis on forming strong Jewish identities and decision making. Understanding how they fit into the local and global Jewish and secular world is also key for students as they participate in tikkun olam.

    Confirmation — Grade 10

    Grade 10 students participate in special confirmation programming with our clergy and senior staff during this year. Community is the focus of Confirmation and this provide provides opportunities for students to be out in the community both learning about and doing Tikkun Olam with their friends. Confirmation is also a time for students to reflect on Jewish leadership and individual roles and responsibilities in the Jewish community and being an integral part and the future of the Jewish people.

    Lech Lecha – Temple Sinai’s Travel Experience

    When Abraham leaves his home to set out on a journey of discovery, he is told lech lecha, go forth. Temple Sinai encourages our youth to set out on their own journey of Jewish discovery by offering unforgettable travel experiences.

    Our High School students travel as one community each year. Our trips include:

    New York City — We make that concrete jungle our own! We explore the Jewish immigrant story at the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Tenement Museum. There is no end to the other activities we can do. Central park. Broadway show, Times Square. Pack your walking shoes!

    Washington DC — We can be change makers! Social Justice is the focus of this exploration from monument to museum. Our time at the Religious Action Center opens our eyes to our responsibilities as young Jewish adults and builds our skills to make a difference.

    Israel — Every other March Break, our teens explore their homeland. Our congregation believes so strongly that our teens should experience Israel, major fundraising allows this trip to be affordable to all of our teens. We visit the major sites of Israel as well as spend meaningful time with Israeli, reform teens. As one community, we develop our leadership skills and understanding of one another’s cultures. There is nothing like an Israel experience. To do it with your teen, temple community builds bonds that last a lifetime

    League of Temple Sinai Senior Youth (LOTSSY) Group

    LOTSSY led by teens and made for teens. Every Tuesday night (6.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.), you can retreat to the LOFT. This space is Laughing, Learning, Lounging Only For Teens. Create community. Dine and cook together. Change the world. Relax on a couch. Anything, as long as you’re together.

    K’hillah Peer Mentor

    Youth who have become bar/bat mitzvah are welcome to become peer mentors. They work one on one with upcoming b’nei mitzvah students on chanting, Hebrew, public speaking and confidence building. If you would like to refresh your chanting skills or bring your special skill to the k’hillah, contact Cantor Katie Oringel. Students can choose a monetary stipend or service hours.

    Madrichim

    Be a leader in our community and gain valuable experience working with younger children! Students in Grades 8 to 12 can apply to become Madrichim (teaching assistants) in our Sunday morning school program each week for either community service credits or hourly pay. Madrichim participate in leadership training throughout the year and learn valuable skills.

    Teen who are interested in being part of this program are asked to fill out a Madrichim application form. Please click here to complete the application.

    Staycation Creator and Leader

    An exciting overnight in downtown Toronto for our grade 6 youth, the Staycation is created and led by Temple’s teens. Energetic and inventive teens can apply to be a Staycation creator and leader. The teen team will work with youth advisor Jesse Primerano for approximately 10 hours. Full participation in this program earns all 40 service hours.

2017 Teen Israel Trip

OUR TEAM

Carrie Swartz
Carrie A. Swartz,

Director of Congregational Learning

carrie@templesinai.net

Cantor Katie Oringel
Cantor Katie Oringel,

Youth Director

katie@templesinai.net

What our youth says . . .