North Shore Temple Emanuel
a Progressive Jewish Congregation
In Year 7, students no longer attend Sunday or Wednesday Hebrew classes, but join a weekly course led by the Rabbi called “Al Shlosha Devarim—On 3 Things.” (In addition, b’nei mitzvah students also begin weekly learning sessions with their tutors.)
While all Year 7 students are encouraged to attend the Rabbi’s course, enrolment is required for all students celebrating bar or bat mitzvah at NSTE, including those students enrolled in Masada or other Jewish schools. (Those who live out of town should contact the office to make alternative arrangements.) Each child is expected to attend throughout the entire year, i.e., even after his or her own bar or bat mitzvah. We consider it of utmost importance to form a cohesive cohort that demonstrates the students’ commitment to one another through weekly attendance, even after one’s own “big day.” The Year 7 course should be treated no differently than all previous years of Meah in this regard.
“Al Shlosha Devarim - On 3 Things” is based on the idea expressed by our sages in Pirkei Avot that “the world stands on three things: on Torah (al ha’Torah), on prayer (al ha’Avodah), and on acts of selfless generosity (al G’milut Chasadim).” The class focuses on how each of these relates to the b’nei mitzvah experience and becoming a Jewish adult. In the Torah component, students learn the overall narrative of the Torah and see how each student’s parasha (portion) fits into that narrative, while exploring their parasha’s key themes. In the Avodah component, they learn the flow and structure of Shabbat and festival services, explore the meaning of prayers and blessings they are learning to recite, and take part in a segment led by Netzer on leadership and taking responsibility. Finally, in the G’milut Chasadim component, students will participate in the “Stand Up ABC” program, Mitzvah Day, Courage to Care, the NSW Board of Deputies “Mitzvah of Memory” program, and other hands-on tikkun olam opportunities at NSTE and beyond.
As we journey through the year together, we also stop along the way for relaxation, fun, and ice cream!
“Al Shlosha Devarim - On 3 Things” is a year of expanding Jewish horizons, with unparalleled potential for building lifelong friendships, cultivating fresh perspectives, shaping Jewish identity and values, and developing meaningful Jewish connections with our tradition, the shul, and the Rabbi.
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