North Shore Temple Emanuel
a Progressive Jewish Congregation
Our teens take their learning outside the classroom and engage in the life of the congregation through participation in:
With a large cohort of 27 b’nei mitzvah students in 2017, the Tag Team was established as ‘the next frontier’ in our students’ Jewish journey, with the aim of keeping teenagers interested and engaged in congregational life following their ‘big day.’
At the shul’s Tag Team services, held approximately every six weeks, participating teenagers take responsibility for leyning the entire morning Torah reading. In addition to leyning, the teens also chant the Haftarah, lead other blessings throughout the service, are called to the Torah as a group for the maftir aliyah, and enjoy a special Mi Shebeirach blessing as a group. Sometimes, the teens even deliver the d’rash!
At the conclusion of the service, the Tag Team and congregation are treated to a special ice cream and chocolate kiddush.
Immediately following their bar or bat mitzvah ceremony, students become eligible to participate in the next upcoming Tag Team service. Some prefer to start gradually, reciting blessings they learned for their bar or bat mitzvah ceremony, rather than leyning Torah. Others are eager to dive right in!
To encourage participation on the Tag Team, Rabbi Roberts often invites Tag Team teens to share “words of the wise” (words of encouragement about b’nei mitzvah or joining the Tag Team) with current b’nei mitzvah students, who are all encouraged to attend the Tag Team services. In addition, soon each bar and bat mitzvah student will receive the gift of a yad from the congregation at their ceremony, which they are then invited to bring along and use when they leyn in a Tag Team service.
Tag Team teens also engage in other activities throughout the year, including NSTE’s annual teen-led Yom Kippur Afternoon service and social opportunities, such as their recent Pre-Pesach Pizza Party.
Here are some words from Natali -
"Working as an educator at NSTE has been a truly rewarding, heart-warming experience. When I first visited the community soon after arriving to Australia, I could never imagine at the time how quickly this Kehilla would become my home and family. And what a ride it’s been!
What I’ve loved the most was the opportunity to work across so many educational projects and programs over these years. It gave me the opportunity to be deeply involved and have meaningful input. It is gratifying to witness so many students develop, bloom, and emerge as young community leaders. I am reassured our future is in good hands!
Where I am headed next? Since my youth, I’ve been always divided by my love of medicine and my passion for education and community engagement. Developing health programs and strategies for culturally and linguistically diverse communities at NSW Health has been a fantastic opportunity that requires my full attention and commitment at this time. As my personal and professional journey in Australia unfolds, NSTE continues to be a central part of my life and I look forward to renewed ways of being involved."
To find out more, please contact Rabbi Nicole.