A few highlights Included:
Learn more about the BM3T Shabbaton >>
Learn more about and register for upcoming JELY (grades 6 & 7) youth group >>
This weekend, we traveled as a BM3T community to Prindle Pond Conference Center in Charlton, Massachusetts for our 10th annual BM3T Shabbaton! The weekend was a ton of fun and a great opportunity to build community amongst our 6th and 7th graders. The BM3T Shabbaton is centered around the concept of kehilah kedoshah (holy community). This year, the theme connected to the concept of kehilah kedoshah through the vehicle of a rock band-- the idea being that in a rock band, every musician must bring their best self and their best skills to the group in order to contribute to the greater whole, just like in a community. The metaphor of a rock band is carried throughout all of the programming, beginning on the bus with the movie School of Rock and ending on Saturday night with a “battle of the bands”, where 6th and 7th graders work with their peers to rewrite and perform the lyrics to a popular song so that the lyrics illustrate the concept of kehilah kedoshah. Learn more >>
A few highlights Included:
To view additional photos and videos, connect with us on our Facebook page and Instagram account.
Learn more about the BM3T Shabbaton >>
Learn more about and register for upcoming JELY (grades 6 & 7) youth group >>
Yesterday at TBE we kicked off an amazing year together in BM3T with song, friends and learning! What are we so excited about for this year?
Our 6th graders will have the opportunity to explore Jewish lifecycle events, including birth, B’nei Mitzvah and Wedding in their Jewish Journeys class. Through these life cycle events, they will explore the Jewish values embedded within-- exploring topics like friendship, family, and more.
Our Kesher program is a great way for our 7th graders to connect with one another in a safe space, with their peers of the same gender and to share and explore their values as Jewish teenagers in our community and in the greater Jewish community. Yesterday we heard from a Kesher alumna who had an incredible experience and we can’t wait for our 7th graders to know what she’s talking about!
Being a part of the 6th grade text class in BM3T is an important foundation for students’ critical thinking and understanding both of Jewish texts and of any texts they encounter throughout their life. In engaging students in meaningful discussions of these texts as they relate to their lives, this class is a great space in which students can explore and bring new meaning to Jewish text and their values. Yesterday, Morah Miriam gave our BM3T families a demonstration of what we do every week in our text class and we’re excited for a great year of learning!
This year JELY is going to be epic. In our JELY events we’re going to hang out with our friends, go to really cool places in the Boston area and have tons of fun building community and relationships with peers and staff! Yesterday I had a great brainstorm with our 6th grade families and heard about what our 6th graders are interested in and the kinds of experiences they want to have this year. It’s going to be a great year in JELY and we can’t wait to get started with our first event on October 26th!
The BM3T Shabbaton coming up in less than a month (October 17-18) and we couldn’t be more excited for a fun weekend of community building, prayer, learning and having a great time with our BM3T friends. We have an amazing staff and we’re looking forward to spending a meaningful Shabbat at the scenic Prindle Pond Conference Center in Charlton, MA. Registration is open, visit http://www.tbeyouth.org/bm3t-shabbaton.html today!
Even as we’re gearing up for a fun year in BM3T, we can’t help but look forward in our Jewish Journeys to Life after BM3T! Havayah, the teen community (grades 8-12) at TBE, is so excited to welcome our 7th graders at the end of this year. Yesterday, our Havayah teen leaders talked with our 7th graders about their experiences with Havayah as being a safe, meaningful, fun and educational place to explore their Jewish identities and to connect with their friends. Don’t worry BM3T, your time is Havayah is quickly approaching!
Wishing all of our families a Shana Tova, and we can’t wait to get started with a great year in BM3T after the holidays! For more information about BM3T, click here.
Our BM3T 6th and 7th grade community is excited for a fun-filled weekend away at URJ Eisner Camp, one of our regional Reform Movement Camps, for our annual Shabbaton. Our TBE Youth Team has been working around the clock to put together a meaningful and epic weekend for our students! Shhhh...they won't know the whole concept of this year's Shabbaton theme until tomorrow! Please follow our adventures on our social media channels:
We look forward to having an amazing weekend and celebrating Shabbat together as a BM3T community. Shabbat Shalom!
By Brett Lubarsky
Assistant Director, Youth Engagement
This Shabbat, we read Lech L'cha - which literally means "go forth." The Torah takes us on a journey, as Abram, Sarai and Lot pack up and go to Canaan (Gen 12:1-9). There's confusion, struggle, separation...let's just say it's complicated. And finally, God establishes a covenant with Abram, now symbolized through circumcision on the eighth day following a male baby's birth (Gen 17:1-27). Backing up, what exactly is a journey?
...or this might sound familiar:
Well, it's a bit more than a rock band, albeit a catchy one. We all have been on a journey at some point in our lives, be it a physical, emotional or spiritual one. We travel, we go places, we explore - sometimes with suitcases in hand, and other times while holding our tablets and mobile devices. Some journeys are for pleasure, and others are connected to business.
In Jewish education and youth engagement, we spend a lot of time talking about Jewish journeys. I know I definitely do. It's one of my favorite things to do when I take our teens out for coffee or froyo. We talk about where they've been, where they are now, and where they want to go. That's heavy lifting. And amazing conversation. I love my job. And going back to the text, God tells Abram to lech - go from his country, his family and everything he has known....to a land that God will show him. Vague? Yup! But...in return...God will make of him a great nation, will bless him, AND make his name great. Pretty great deal for Abram, right? It gets better. God promises to bless those who bless Abram, and curse those who curse him.
Imagine if we lived in a world where people did that for each other. One where our children, our friends, our families and our neighbors felt supported in the various journeys they endured - regardless of our race, religion, gender, learning styles and challenges...the list goes on. One where we could feel blessed about who we are and who we want to be, without anyone saying otherwise....or they would be cursed. One where everyone acknowledged, and appreciated the fact that we are each created b'tzelem Elohim - in the image of the divine. Don't stop believin'...indeed.
These places do, in fact, exist. Three places that immediately came to mind:
TBE Youth Programs (and specifically Havayah: the teen community at Temple Beth Elohim)
Jewish overnight camp
As the leaves change color and we enter a long weekend full of sports, friends and family, I ask you to consider the following:
Make Summer 2014 the summer of a lifetime for your child. Whether it's a Jewish overnight camp for our youth in grades 3-10 or an Israel trip or teen summer experience for those in grades 8-12 - make the journey, and let us help guide you. Visit our Jewish Camping Initiative section, hear from members of our TBE family, and learn about the amazing opportunities that exist in our region. Connect with me or Hannah Richman and let us help you find the right fit. We're better than camp consultants. Just ask Rabbi Joel Sisenwine!
Get involved in our community at TBE. From youth groups, experiential learning opportunities and more for our youth to Living Torah 21, our community of adults who share in the fullness of Jewish life through learning and spirituality, caring and social justice - there are numerous pathways and entry points for youth and adult engagement in our kehilah kedoshah (holy community) on Bethel Road and beyond. Explore our websites - TBEWellesley.org and TBEYouth.org - and turn your passions into action as you navigate your Jewish journey!
Interested in learning more about this week's Torah portion? Visit ReformJudaism.org or G-dcast.com for further insight.
Go forth. Be a blessing. Your name will be great.
What a week we had in BM3T! The smell of caramel, chocolate and matzah perfumed the air of the Community Kitchen last week, and the hallways of TBE rang with the sounds of seventh graders kicking around a soccer ball or playing drama games. Upstairs, more seventh graders laughed as they recounted their most memorable moments in school and animatedly discussed the qualities of their favorite teachers. This was the kickoff of our 6-week “Taste of Havayah” program, where all TBE Seventh Graders spend time with their friends “tasting” a bit of what we have to offer in Havayah: The Teen Community at Temple Beth Elohim, and hearing first-hand from many of our teens who are involved in a number of programs and groups at TBE.
From interest-based learning groups to retreats and trips, to youth group programs and leadership development, to fun social events, Havayah is the place for all TBE teens to learn, grow, connect Jewishly and build lasting relationships with each other and the TBE Youth Team. Over 130 TBE teens are already experiences the amazing fun, friends and leadership opportunities that Havayah offers!
In the coming weeks, all Seventh Graders will have the chance to experience or “taste” their choice of 2 Havayah Chavurot (interest-based learning groups). This program is designed to help our Seventh Graders find their passion and get excited for the coming high school years at TBE! Current Taste of Havayah options include: JAWs (Jewish Actors’ Workshop), Tastes of Judaism (cooking), Chai Five (sports and Jewish values), Madrichim (teacher’s assistant training), Songleading and Choir. Next year, we are also considering additional Chavurot and learning experiences, based on feedback from our Seventh Graders and currently-enrolled Havayah teens. Also, don't forget that the Jew Man Group and It's A Girl Thing experiences continue into Havayah!
Check out some photos from our kickoff days (see below), take some time to navigate through the Havayah section on our website, and let us know if you have any questions or want to know more about Havayah!
Dr. Judy Avnery, Director of Limud & BM3T
Laura Hyman, Director of Havayah & Beit Midrash
Our bags are packed, we're ready to go...
The buses have left camp, and are currently on target for a 12:15 pm arrival back in Wellesley.
At our closing circle this morning, our BM3T community took some time to reflect on what was truly a remarkable weekend. A HUGE thank you to all of the participants for diving into the programming and being so wonderful. Additionally, we are blessed to have such a talented, dedicated and tireless faculty.
A reminder that some pictures are available on our Facebook (Facebook.com/TBEYouth). Our goal is to have most of our pictures up on our website (http://TBEYouth.org/bm3t-Shabbaton.html) on Tuesday. As soon as they are posted, we'll be in touch so you can check them out!
Thanks again for a very special Shabbaton. We'll see you back at home!
Live from the Beit Am at URJ Eisner Camp...BM3T Battle of the Bands!
Our Setlist, set to current popular tunes with original lyrics written by participants, features many of the core texts and values we've learned about community during our programming. We hope to post lyrics as photos during the coming weeks!
Each band is made up of musicians, artists, choreographers and managers. The Beit is rockin'!
After the battle, the judges will present awards to our new music artists and everyone will attend our annual after party (read: ice cream sundaes)!
Shavua tov...have a great week! Thanks for following along with our adventures...we'll see everyone tomorrow!
As you might have been wondering from our previous posts, we have two intersecting themes running throughout BM3T Shabbaton!
Throughout the weekend (and everything we do at TBE), we strive to build and strengthen our kehilah kedoshah (holy community) through our actions and relationships. Part of being a member of a holy community is playing our part and contributing to the community. Each one of us brings something unique and special. When combined, we all can create something beautiful. Welcome to BM3T School of Rock. Acting as different members of the band - bringing our own creativity and talents, BM3T participants are learning different ways to work together.
This afternoon, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and engaged in a number of team-building challenges which focused on communication skills, leadership styles, group process and strengthening relationships. Unfortunately, the Internet has been spotty at camp, so we'll have to wait until we get home to upload our pictures. A preview is available on our Facebook page (Facebook.com/TBEYouth).
Right now, band members are working together to create songs, choreography and staging, album artwork and much more...in preparation for tonight's BM3T BATTLE OF THE BANDS!
We're having a blast, and hope you're enjoying your Shabbat! Leave us a comment or like our pictures and let us know what you think!
Rock on...and Shabbat Shalom!
Boker tov and Shabbat shalom from the beautiful (and foggy) Berkshires! After breakfast this morning, BM3T Shabbaton participants entered and engaged in an interactive prayer and learning experience. Throughout Shabbat morning t'filah, we explored our personal connections with the prayers. Additionally, we learned about and discussed the different roles band members play, and how they compliment and balance each other. What role do we play in the band (our community)? How do we interact with others? What bands (communities) do we belong to?
Connecting our conversations to the weekly parashah (Noach), we then explored the factors that make a group/community a kehilah kedoshah - a holy community. What roles do community members play in creating one? How do we contribute? What are they important middot (values)? And finally, which band member(s) do we most identify with? As we begin our Ma'asim Tovim experiences, how can we take our discussions and connect them to the roles we will play as group members, volunteers and agents of change as we engage in acts of tikkun olam - repairing the world?
The rain is gone. The fog is lifting. No need to build the ark. But as we build and strengthen our holy community amongst our 6th & 7th graders, there are lots of rainbows coming into view!
Lots of great programming will take us into the afternoon, where we'll have time to hang out, explore camp, appreciate the gifts that nature gives us during the fall season in the Berkshires...and probably do a lot of singing, playing and having fun!
Shabbat Shalom from URJ Eisner Camp! Our buses have arrived, and we're looking forward to a delicious Shabbat dinner together as a BM3T community. Following dinner, participants will have a chance to settle into their rooms, and then we will gather for Shabbat evening t'filah.
As we did last year, we will be posting pictures on our Facebook page (http://Facebook.com/TBEYouth) throughout the weekend. If you haven't already, please like our page! For those members of our community who are not on Facebook - not to worry! Once our staff has a moment tomorrow, we'll post the pictures on our BM3T Shabbaton Central page (http://TBEYouth.org/bm3t-shabbaton.html).
Thanks for following along with us!
The BM3T Shabbaton Team
Fresh thoughts from and about