Rock with the Rabbi
Led by our Rabbi, Rock with the Rabbi is a wonderful opportunity for 7th grade students to discuss topics relating to Jewish identity. Students are engaged in meaningful debates. Discussions are often centered on the weekly torah portion which highlights interpersonal relationships, personal ethics, responsibility to family, body image, community service, prayer, and the role of religion in the lives of our young students.
The class meets on Saturday mornings between 9:00-10:00am just before the Shabbat morning service. Students are encouraged to ask questions about Judaism and about their personal identity and commitment and to articulate their own beliefs and opinions.
Teacher's Aide Program (Madrichim)
Students in 8th through 12th grades have the opportunity to serve as Madrachim or teachers’ assistants. The high school aged teens offer help and guidance to younger religious school students. As a Madracha or Madrich, they help to lead classes, facilitate special events and meet together monthly throughout the school year. Not only is it a rewarding experience for our young adolescent members, but it also allows them to earn community service hours or earn money.
Confirmation is an extraordinary opportunity for 9th and 10th grade high school students to interact with their rabbi on a wide variety of contemporary issues and to begin formulating their own opinions on these significant topics. It is also a wonderful social forum for Jewish kids to meet on a weekly basis and interact with one another outside of their respective high schools. Our Rabbi loves teaching this class as it allows him to reconnect with students whom he has watched grow and mature and whom he has personally taught for their b’nei mitzvah.
The following is a partial list of topics which are explored during these sessions:
• Youth in Rebellion: Drugs and Substance Abuse.
• Interdating and Intermarriage - Aren’t we all the same?
• Anti-Semitism - Is Anti-Zionism the NEW antisemitism?
• God, Man and the Universe - The role of God and spirituality in our lives.
• Good and Evil - Why be good?
• When Bad things happen to good people - How do you explain it?
• Jews, Jesus, and Christianity.
• Teenage suicide.
• Jewish attitudes towards love and sexuality - Does God belong in the bedroom?
• Dealing with stress - Why am I so stressed out?
• Who is a Jew? - Patrilineal vs. Matrilineal descent.
• Life after Death.
• Colleges and Judaism - What percentage of Jews should I look for in choosing a college? Interviewing and tips on writing a college essay.
• Revelation - What really happened at Sinai?
• What does God want from Us? What are our duties to humanity? To ourselves? To our families?
• Are there essential beliefs in Judaism? The role of Kashrut, joy, prayer, mitzvoth.
• Cults – missionaries, Jews for Jesus - Why do they care so much about our “souls”?
• Prayer - Does God really hear prayer? What happens when I pray?
• Isn’t it enough to be ethical? What does religion have to do with it?
• Jews with different views - American Judaism today - Do we really need all these denominations?
• Euthanasia - Whose life is it anyway? Should we have a say in what we do with our bodies?
• The Influence of Family on being a Jew.
• Jewish belief in the Messiah - and the differences with Christianity.
• Capital punishment - Does a government have the right to take a person’s life?
The class meets weekly on Thursday evenings. Students should arrive at 6:45 pm for a pizza dinner and class will begin promptly at 7pm ending at 8:15pm.
Rabbi Emert with Sara Tesser and Lauren Zoneraich, 2016 Confirmation Class.