WEDNESDAY NIGHT PROGRAM (WNP)
We are pleased to share with you the success of our newly envisioned High School Wednesday Night Program. This past year we developed a new model that focused on simultaneously developing and cultivating relationships, while also creating opportunities for deep Jewish learning.
For the upcoming school year, we are taking the best of what we have learned, and making a few changes to even better meet your needs. Please read below for important information about next year’s program including timing, location, goals, special programs, and schedule.
TIMING AND LOGISTICS:
Next year our teen program will be approximately 2 times per month. All sessions will be held at PTBE (with the exception of scheduled field trips). High School WNP will run concurrently (but separate from) middle school. The program will run from 6:30-8pm. There will be an option to sign up for dinner from 6–6:30pm. Please click here for a preliminary calendar.
CURRICULUM AND CONTENT:
Speaker Series - This past year our High School students learned a tremendous amount from a number of special guest speakers. They came to us from organizations, like the Jewish Teen Foundation and Shalom Bayit, and as individuals, like transgender activist Mya Byrne. Each guest shared their own perspective on interacting with Jewish life as an adult. We look forward to continuing this speaker series next year.
Jewish Teen Foundation Sessions - The Jewish Teen Foundation (JTF) and its project director, Daniel Farkas specifically, have offered to partner with us for four sessions. Looking at what is going on in our world, and thinking about the differences we can make, we picked the following topics for discussion:
- Vulnerability in the Community
- Actively Participating in Justice Work
- Charitable Giving as a Jewish Value
- Donors over Dollars
Mini Break-Out Sessions - In addition to large group learning, we also want to offer students the chance to study a topic of their interest. During these sessions students will be able to connect with clergy and each other in smaller groups. We will offer 2-3 break-out discussion groups and let the teens decide which session to attend. We will choose the topics in advance with the teens input. We want to make sure the teens are invested in the topics for these break-out sessions.
Social Sessions - A few times each year we will also have sessions that focus purely on the Jewish social experience. These social sessions may include a barbeque at Beresford Park, or the holiday Ice Skating Rink at Central Park. These sessions will be designed to emphasize hanging out, relaxing, and having fun.
10th graders can choose to participate in Confirmation. 10th graders can choose to participate in Confirmation. The course combines required study sessions with Rabbi Dennis (please see calendar for dates), in addition to participation in all WNP sessions. An essential part of Confirmation includes our Confirmation Retreat at Walden West (October 20-22, 2017). In the program, teens will grapple with what it means to “confirm” one’s Jewish identity. At the end of the year, our confirmands will publicly share their learning at a Shabbat service
(May 11, 2018).
other ways to get involved
Just as adults enter Jewish life through a number of different doors, we seek to support our teens as they find their own unique connection to Jewish life. At PTBE we offer a number of additional ways for our teens to be involved, and we welcome teens to find their own path. Other teen opportunities include madrichim (teacher’s aide in any of our elementary school education programs), or SMRTY/NFTY (youth group participation at either the synagogue, regional, or national level).
There are many additional organizations and ways for your teen to get involved outside of PTBE, including the North Peninsula Teen Collective (a local hub for all teen-oriented Jewish Life). If you have questions about any of these programs, please reach out to Sarah Van Zanten, our Youth Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, any of our Rabbis would be happy to meet with your teen and discuss some of the additional options to get involved or be engaged in our community.
Madrichim are our 8th-12th grade education assistants who serve in Rishonim, Gesher, and Hebrew Programs. Madrichim energize our learning environment with their enthusiasm, serve as role models for younger students, help teachers with classroom set up and clean up, lead games, facilitate groups, and tutor students in Hebrew. In addition to helping out in our classrooms, it is our goal to help these young leaders hone their skills by offering supportive development opportunities for them throughout the yer.
Madrichim are paid for their work according to their grade level and experience in the classroom.
If you're interested in our Madrichim program, please email our youth director, Sarah Van Zanten at email@example.com.