PTBE High School program

We are very excited to introduce some updates and improvements to our PTBE High School program for 2019-2020. This year, our teens have engaged with a wide range of timely social justice topics; explored creative mediums for Jewish expression, from music, to art, to cooking; and deepened Jewish identity and relationships. We plan to continue all of that good learning, and enhance the experience of PTBE High Schoolers, by moving our program to Sunday afternoons, which will allow for a time when our building will be entirely theirs. Taking note of a Bay Area-wide shift to this schedule for teen programming, we believe the Sunday timing will allow students to balance school demands and Jewish community life more effectively, and will allow us to do more hands-on and fieldtrip-based gatherings that help make Jewish identity come to life for emerging young adults.


Our teen program will meet once per month on Sundays from 1-2:30 p.m. All sessions will be held at PTBE (with the exception of scheduled field trips). Lunch and snacks will be provided for all sessions.


Each PTBE High Session will begin with a pizza lunch and a chance to check stress at the door. Then, we dive into distinct opportunities for engagement, alternating between Jewish-themed social justice learning and action, creative arts-based workshops including painting and music, and social afternoons and local adventures planned with our SMRTY Youth Group and Youth Educator.

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10th graders can choose to participate in Confirmation.  For 10th graders: The year-long journey of Confirmation is one of the most exciting opportunities young adults have to explore Jewish identity on their own terms, and to develop their leadership skills in a peer community. Every month, on the same Sunday session as PTBE High, our Confirmation Cohort will meet directly with clergy from 11:45-1 p.m. to explore topics unique to becoming a Jewish adult, and celebrate this milestone with a Shabbat ceremony May 8, 2020. 10th graders will also participate in an immersive half-day retreat early in the year where they will develop personal mission statements for their emerging Jewish journey. 


Beginning in 8th grade, students have the chance to become Madrichim in our elementary school programs. Madrichim are our 8th – 12th grade education assistants. They help out in classrooms, tutor in Hebrew, and lead activities for students. New this year is an inaugural Fellowship for incoming new Madrichim, that will not only enhance Madrichim experience in the classroom, but also help our 8th and 9th graders build positive Jewish identity, leadership skills, and marketable skills for future professional opportunities. Curriculum for the Fellowship will be made available in addition to applications online in the coming weeks. Madrichim are paid for their work according to their grade level and experience in the classroom or they may choose to receive volunteer hours.

Access the 2019/20 Madrichim application form here. Email completed forms to or bring hard copies to the temple by May 28.

other ways to get involved as teens

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 (being a teacher’s aide in any of our elementary school education programs), SMRTY/NFTY (youth group participation at either the synagogue, regional, or national level), and L’taken (a social justice-based trip to Washington D.C. in early 2020, where teens learn to politically lobby for Jewish values).

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.  Please reach out to Rabbi Laura ( to learn about more Jewish opportunities for teens.