Congregation Beth Israel and Temple Beth Or in Everett are recipients of a joint grant from the SAMIS Foundation in Seattle for a new Israel studies pilot program, MASSA: A Teen Journey Toward Israel and Self-discovery. We are now registering post B’nei Mitzvah students who are interested in participating.
The program will meet once a month, October 2022 and through May 2024, during regular religious school hours. The curriculum will focus on Israeli history, geography, people and current events, including a significant focus on environmentalism and climate work being done in Israel. Students from both synagogues will hear from guest speakers and have opportunities to study and learn together.
Students who have participated throughout the entire program will have the option of traveling to Israel with the group in July 2024 for a two-week immersive experience.
Kesher Library is always open through our catalog: Tinyurl.com/maxglass
The Kesher Library welcomes all of our members to stop by when the synagogue is open and take home a book (or two or four.) We are located on the lower level by the teacher’s room. The collection centers around books that include and reflect a diverse range of Jewish experience for the early years through teen-agers. Come browse our board, picture, early readers, middle grade, and YA book titles as well as children’s books in Hebrew.
Books are checked out on the honor system. We hope you enjoy having these books in your home and bring them back so that others may enjoy as well.
Meets weekly on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
In honor of Noemi Ban, who taught for decades in the Bellingham community about the love and strength she learned through her survival of the Holocaust, we teach the Holocaust from a perspective of individual stories of strength, endurance, and courage. Our 8th graders will deepen their own relationship to Judaism, while learning how people held onto their humanity and their Judaism in the face of chaos and terror.
Students will learn the history, starting well before the war, with the creation of the Weimar Republic through the Holocaust and it’s aftermath. They will also learn about the reactions from other countries, including America. It is just as critical to explore people’s lives before and after the war, in order to understand who these Jews were and how they rebuilt their lives. We will connect this history to our own lives today, learning how to recognize and deal with anti-semitism, and our own responsibilities to stand up against bullying, bigotry, and hate.
Students will learn about the various groups involved, including bystanders, collaborators, perpetrators, and rescuers, while applying these lessons to contemporary events.
Students will also spend time this year exploring what their own responsibilities are to themselves and to others, and how they want to go out in the world as individuals and as Jews. Students will explore their own ideas about God in the face of tragedy, enrich their Judaism in witnessing their ancestors’ strength and resiliency, and learn about what those ancestors held dear and fought for.
We are very pleased to offer this revamped, now for 8th grade curriculum, developed in combination with previously used curriculum, culling resources from many renowned educational organizations including: “Facing History and Ourselves”, “Teach the Shoah”, “Echoes and Reflections”, and in collaboration with many educators, including the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity at Western Washington University. We are proud of the outcome of this work to be able to offer a curriculum that engages and challenges students to think critically, share ideas, and ask questions of themselves.
Meets weekly on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
This year, students will delve deeper into Jewish History, Israel, and prayer. Overarching goals for this class are to gain deeper understanding and to critically examine these three incredibly complex topics. Students will be stretched to look harder, ask more questions, and apply each concept to their own lives.
The Prophets: Speaking Out For Justice
This curriculum explores the lives of seven prophets and the Jewish values they exemplify. Stories bring the prophets to life. Connections to modern day people and events help students discover the relevance of the ancient messages of our biblical ancestors. Students will learn the historical context, politics, and cultural challenges around each prophet’s life, and they will connect them to biblical history. Students will be challenged to develop their own personal value systems and discover how they want to make a difference in the world.
Israel: It’s Complicated: Students will examine the Jewish homeland, a place of both conflict and peace. A place that is both ancient and modern. They will understand the meaning that Israel holds for the Jewish people and discover their own personal connections to the modern state. Students will explore how Israel is both a uniquely Jewish place, as well as home to a remarkable range of diverse people from all over the world. In every topic students tackle, we will celebrate the triumphs, but will not shy away from the struggles. Only as we attempt to see Israel from a wide range of perspectives, can we appreciate the intense complexity and challenge Israel faces and gain a deep understanding of the unique, multifaceted place that Israel is.
Prayer Connection: In preparation for being prayer leaders next year as they become b’nei mitzvah, students will not only continue their studies in Hebrew and how to sing the prayers, they will begin to explore what prayer means to them and why we pray. This will be an introduction into the structure, meanings, and purpose of prayer to prepare them for an even deeper study of this topic in their 7th grade year.
S’fatai Tiftach Hebrew Curriculum:
As we shift all 4th-6th grade students to our new robust Prayer / Hebrew curriculum through the S’fatai Tiftach series, students in this class will be doing selected chapters in each of the 3 volumes. This will allow us to fill in the students’ learning as needed and focus on the prayers they will lead as a bar /bat mitzvah.
Students will learn how to confidently lead several prayers, but they will also learn their themes and significant Hebrew vocabulary within them. In addition to reviewing prayers they have learned, students will master the reading and chanting of the V’ahavtah, Torah Blessings, and the Hatzi Kaddish.