WEDNESDAY NIGHT PROGRAM (WNP)
Our High School program is a model that focuses on simultaneously developing and cultivating relationships, while also creating opportunities for deep Jewish learning.
TIMING AND LOGISTICS:
Our teen program meets approximately 2 times per month. All sessions are held at PTBE (with the exception of scheduled field trips). High School WNP runs concurrently (but separate from) middle school. The program runs from 6:30-8pm. There is an option to sign up for dinner from 6–6:30pm. Please click here for a 2017-18 schedule.
CURRICULUM AND CONTENT:
Speaker Series - Over the last two years 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: A Jewish response to domestic violence; and as individuals, like transgender activist Mya Byrne or Jewish comedian Jeffrey Applebaum. Each guest shared their own perspective on interacting with Jewish life as an adult. We look forward to continuing this speaker series next year.
Mini Break-Out Sessions - In addition to large group learning, we offer students the opportunity to study topics of their interest. For example, we reflected on the conversations surrounding the #MeToo movement and the Jewish stance on Gun Violence Prevention. During these sessions, students connect with clergy, specialists, and each other in smaller groups. For each Break-Out session, there will always be options for the teens to decide which session to attend. We will choose the topics in advance with student input.
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 are encouraged to participate in Confirmation. The course combines required study sessions with our clergy (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 26-28, 2018). In the program, teens will grapple with what it means to "confirm" one's personal Jewish identity and beliefs. At the end of the year, our confirmands will publicly share their learning at a Shabbat service, May 10, 2019.
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 year. Madrichim are paid for their work according to their grade level and experience in the classroom.
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. Some other teen opportunities include SMRTY/NFTY (youth group participation at either the synagogue, regional or national level), and L'taken (a social justice-based trip on alternate years to Washington DC, 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 Sarah Van Zanten, our Youth Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about more Jewish opportunities for teens.