Beth Jacob Youth Education 2023-2024 (5784)
Joyful, enriching, learning for children and families at Beth Jacob Congregation!
Beth Jacob’s robust learning opportunities for children prepare them to be lifelong learners who care deeply about, and contribute to the ongoing conversation about, what it means to live Jewishly in an ever-changing world.
Weekday Hebrew and Judaics learning (Day School or Supplementary):
Reach out to us
We are very excited to be part of your child’s Jewish learning, development and growth. Please feel free to reach out to our Director of Congregational Learning, Rabbi Justin Held, with any general questions or concerns about youth education at 651-444-5463 or Rabbijustinheld@beth-jacob.org.
Shabbat Learning Program
Shabbat learning is complementary to weekday communal Jewish learning. We are happy to help make connections to the community schools for Jewish and Hebrew language learning — at the Talmud Torah Saint Paul, Minneapolis Talmud Torah, Heilicher Jewish Day School, or private tutoring. Shabbat classes meet most Saturdays at 10am-12pm.
Kitanim is for families with children in PKK-Kindergarten. Kitanim ensures that our youngest families have a special place in the community of our shul. We host unique opportunities for families with young children to learn and grow together. Kitanim begin their Shabbat morning by participating in the Torah procession. They then spend an hour and a half in the classroom. The year is intended for students to have exposure to Hebrew letters and sounds, as well as a basic understanding of Jewish holidays and Torah stories. Through play and games, students engage with Miitzvot and Jewish values. Each week they end their Shabbat morning with Minyan Kitan, a fun, upbeat service to help our students become familiar with the melodies of prayer and Jewish song.
1st-4th grade at Beth Jacob is a hands-on, exploratory Jewish learning program. In this engaging learning community, our children explore Hebrew language, Jewish stories, and together create learning that will grow with them their whole lives. Our 1st-4th grade learning focuses on grasping mitzvot and values, decoding Hebrew letters and gaining reading skills. Our 1st-4th graders focus on the stories of the Avot and Imahot, Joseph and Moses’ leadership of the Isralites out of Egypt and receiving the Torah. Our 1st-4th graders work to attain fluency in prayers; learning in the classroom, youth tefilot and the main sanctuary.
In addition to classes on Shabbat mornings, all are invited to gather for once a month family learning on one Sunday each month 9:30-11:30 am. Our learning on Shabbat is elevated by observance of shabbat in the shul, consequently our children do not create permanent pieces of work on that day. Family Sundays provide opportunities for children to have more exploration time in the classroom, including writing Hebrew, making crafts, and producing artwork.
5th and 6th
5th and 6th grade is dedicated to b’nai mitzvah preparation. In 5th and 6th grade, our students learn Torah and Haftarah trope as well as study the Parshat Hashavua (weekly Torah portion) and the weekly Haftarah, unearthing its connections to the Torah portion. In Youth T’fillah, students daven Shabbat Shacharit and are introduced to the Torah service. The Beth Jacob Congregation Shabbat Service and trope CD is given to 5th grade students. Students continue to review and polish Shacharit, Torah Services, and learn the Musaf service. Students practice their skills using their own B’nai Mitzvah Parshiot. Our 5th and 6th grade students broaden their scope of Torah, creating an understanding of what makes up the TaNKh. Throughout 5th and 6th grade students are introduced to multiple manifestations of God, encouraging them to understand the Divine in an honest way that uniquely resonates with each student.
7th and 8th Grade
Our 7th and 8th grade students join Beth Jacob’s Shabbat T’fillot through the Torah reading and then meet as a class. Classroom learning utilizes the Facing History in Ourselves curriculum to discuss current events and ethics from a Jewish perspective. On weeks when there is a B’nai Mitzvah at Beth Jacob, students sit as a class during services. Our 7th and 8th graders learn prayers that were not necessarily taught in b’nai mitzvah preparation, with a focus on Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv services. Through the Jewish Community Relations Council’s The Letters Project: Conversing Across Narratives our 7th and 8th grade our learners explore Israel and Zionism in an honest and thoughtful manner. Whether by being a monthly Torah reader, door greater or kitchen crew member, after becoming a B’nai Mitzvah, students participate in the life of the shul in a manner that is meaningful to them.
High School – Madrichim
Our teens are an essential part of youth learning at Beth Jacob. They help to lead youth tefillah and are madrichim in the nursery and in our older classes, working one on one and with small groups of children guided by their teachers. Our teens often read Torah and lead services in the main sanctuary, and participate in a teen sicha, a discussion on current issues and topics of interest led by our youth leaders. Our High School learners spend the first 30 minutes of their Saturday mornings all together in class. During this time they prepare and deliver a d’var Torah to their classmates as well as learn and practice skills and strategies in active listening, quick response, and service leading to improve in their role as a madrich(a). The remaining hour and a half each Saturday is dedicated to serving as a madrich(a). In the role of madrich(a), our high schoolers take on the role of mentor, role model and tutor. They work within the classroom as an extra set of hands to the teacher, as well as leading small groups or individual learning with students. They assist in tutoring students in Hebrew, prayer and Torah, as well as play and engage with our younger learners.
Minyan Katan will begin at 11:30 am