Welcome to Teen Education Network (TEN), a collaborative solution for community-wide teen programming. TEN helps to connect Minneapolis-area Jewish teens with the programs that best suit them, regardless of affiliation or synagogue membership. Read about each program below.
High School age programming will occur on Tuesday evenings from 5:30-8:30 pm, September 10, 2019-May 12, 2020. Each evening will begin with dinner (menus to be built with student input!) and minyan (student opportunities to lead available) and then split into classes by grade level:
- 9th: Big Questions on Theology, Leadership, and Life, student-directed curriculum with Hazzan Dulkin
- 10th: Confirmation, Getting Beyond your Jewish ABCs: Power, Privilege, and Responsibility in a Changing World with Rabbi Weininger
- 11th-12th: Mussar & Middot (developing soul/character traits) with Rabbi Kravitz
Students will then be able to choose between USY Lounge (USY Membership and registration info will be sent in August), elective classes (teen band, Bible competition training, Social action opportunities, and more), or leave after their grade-level course completes. Learn more.
Heschel Society, a select group of high school students, will continue to meet with Rabbi Weininger over lunch once a month on Shabbat from 12:15-1:15pm. We study Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Sages) and explore how its ancient wisdom helps us engage the current pressures and opportunities of the world around us. Heschel Society’s select nature means participation is open to those who commit to additional learning and leadership initiatives. Contact Sue for more details & to sign up at email@example.com
Bet Shalom Congregation
At Bet Shalom, Teen education and social programming are offered during the school year on Wednesday evenings from 6:00-8:35pm. Teens gather informally for dinner from 6:00-6:30pm and have the option to bring their own meal or purchase a meal from one of our rotating Food Trucks!
Our educational program begins at 6:30pm and consists of a three “block” structure.
Block One: Core Classes
Block one includes grade-level core classes for all 9th-12th graders. These classes are taught by Bet Shalom teachers and clergy and explore a wide array of topics from a Jewish perspective. Students are invited to participate in learning through active discussion, reflection, and debate.
Block Two: Social Programming
Block two introduces social programming planned and led by BeSTY (Bet Shalom Temple Youth), Bet Shalom’s teen leadership board. Our youth group is about building relationships and making connections through social programming and leadership opportunities. Kids/Teens build lasting friendships, meaningful memories and lifetime connections to Tikkun Olam, community and Judaism. BeSTY is affiliated with our international Reform youth movement, the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY). NFTY hosts quarterly retreats called kallot for the NFTY-Northern region, which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Block Three: Electives
Block three is electives, where students will choose a class that explores Jewish text and tradition through a creative medium. Some of the elective offerings will include: Cooking, Krav Maga, Cinema, Photography, Current Events, and more.
If you are interested in our program and would like to learn more, contact Ali King.
Beth El Synagogue
Informal Torah Discussion—Open to 9th-12th graders. Spend some time on Saturday mornings studying the weekly Torah portion with the Rabbi. Offered, every other week at Beth El Synagogue. (Specific times TBD)
Vaad Middot—Open to 10th-11th graders and their parents and led by Cantor Abrams, this eight-week course runs from January-March on Saturday mornings at Beth El Synagogue. Join us as we navigate the world of Middot (Jewish virtues) strengthening the relationship between parents and teens.
Land and Spirit, a partnership with Students Supporting Israel—Explore the balance of Judaism and activism, Jewish faith and identity, and the importance of the state of Israel. Held at the Sabes JCC, dates and times TBD.
Abraham Joshua Heschel Honor Society—Beth El’s chapter of Abraham Joshua Heschel Honor Society (AJHHS) is a select group of exemplary high school students from each grade. Students are selected based on their current strengths and passions—especially within Jewish life and learning. Application process opens in June.
Ask the Rabbi—We are forming regular “Ask the Rabbi” sessions, potentially to take place at local High School(s). If you’re interested in participating or believe that your high school could be a good fit or location, please contact Rabbi Olitzky.
Congregation Darchei Noam
Teen Talmud features twice-monthly Sunday evening learning sessions for all Jewish teens. Sushi, pizza or other refreshments are frequently provided. Teen Talmud aims to provide a rudimentary exposure to Talmudic texts and commentaries while pursuing deeper than rudimentary conversations that have unfolded from these texts over the centuries. Texts include famous and infamous passages culled from both Mishna and Gemara. Passages may include famous aggadic stories as well as halachic (legal) material revolving around core ethical issues. Sessions prior to holidays focus primarily on texts with the greatest significance for the respective holidays. English translations are provided but participants are encouraged to read in Hebrew when possible.
Darchei Café offers monthly teen “educational shmoozes” at local kosher establishments. Participants are encouraged to reflect on no more than three short sources drawn from texts, articles, poems, and online media. Themes will be based in part upon feedback from the teens as to what topics and issues are of current interest to them. The goal is to address themes through a Jewish lens, and participants should come away from the shmoozes with a sense of what Judaism has to contribute to the discussion.
For more information, including schedule and rates, contact Rabbi Max Davis.
Darchei U: Jewish foundations for high schoolers heading into the world.
Dive into this innovative multi-year curriculum to sharpen your knowledge of Jewish history, philosophy, texts and traditions. Gather over dinner to explore texts with your peers and discuss Jewish perspectives on life’s big questions.
This year’s theme: History & Text. We will gather two Sunday evenings per month to work through three-part units including:
- The evolution of rabbinic Judaism
- The spread of Jewish Diaspora and diversity,
- Codes and the Commentaries: Judaism under Islam and Christianity pre-Inquisition
- Modernity beckons – Spinoza to the Enlightenment
- Zionism, pre-Holocaust Jewish life in America, North African and Europe
Come prepared to contemplate and to participate fully in this safe space for reflection and discussion. Don’t miss this opportunity to shore up your roots before you branch out!
First semester dates: Sept. 15, Oct. 6 & 27, November 10 & 24, December 8.
6:30-7:30 pm all sessions with the exception of Oct. 6 at 7 pm.
Rates: $150/yr. ($125 Darchei members)
HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Choir
HaZamir is an international network of choral chapters for Jewish teens in the U.S. and Israel. Annually, 400 HaZamir singers appear in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center for a performance that brings together music, community, and spirituality in a context that is dynamic, transformative, and fun. Thousands of teens have shared in this HaZamir experience.
The HaZamir Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter is conducted by Cantor Audrey Abrams on Sundays throughout the school year from 12:30-3 pm at Beth El. Auditions will be held on Sept. 8, 2019. The cost is $2,000, which includes tuition and a trip to New York. Contact Cantor Abrams or Rimon for questions and reservation details.
HaZamir International Fees are not covered in the cost. Group fundraising through local concert will defray the cost and individual scholarships may be available. HaZamir is a program of the Zamir Choral Foundation, Matthew Lazar, Founder, and Director.
Jewish Student Union and Minneapolis Israel Scholars Program
JSU (Jewish Student Union) Clubs are student-led Jewish culture clubs running in High Schools throughout the Twin Cities (Current schools include Hopkins, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Saint Louis Park, Southwest, and Wayzata High Schools). Clubs meet weekly after school, free kosher sushi or pizza is provided and the fun, non-judgmental atmosphere allows for teens to explore Judaism on their turf.
Club advisors are Rabbi Tzvi Kupfer and Mindy Daitchman and discussions and interactive activities revolve around a variety of topics including Israel, current events, and Jewish holidays. JSU sponsors activities outside of school as well including retreats, monthly dinner-and-learns, community service projects, Friday night dinners, and other exciting events.
Minneapolis Israel Scholars Program is a 12-week course, launched last year by JSU, designed to empower local Jewish public school teens to serve as Israel advocates, while also strengthening their bond with the Land of Israel and their Jewish heritage. The program was developed in response to the rise of BDS and anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses nationwide. The teens explore a variety of topics, including ancient Israel, the history of Zionism, Israel’s Rebirth, its wars, the peace process, and Israel’s political system. They also learn to understand and analyze media bias, Israel and Jewish stereotypes, Israel on college campuses, Boycott and Divestment issues, Israel’s shared values, and her contributions around the world. Meeting weekly at the Sabes JCC, kosher dinner is served and the program will be re-starting in November 2019 (Program deposit is refunded with weekly attendance). Register here.
Please contact Rabbi Tzvi Kupfer for more info regarding JSU and NCSY activities.
Minnesota Online Jewish Ulpan (MOJU)
The Minnesota Online Jewish Ulpan is offered through the Talmud Torah of St. Paul. MOJU classes are offered for grades 8–12 via Zoom and are live and interactive, encouraging community-building and connection. MOJU offers college-level courses in Hebrew, with five different levels of learning. Although MOJU is not able to provide CIS credits, this program is parallel to the U of MN program. (Many schools are willing to give students high school credit for our classes and students can test out of Hebrew or potentially get retroactive credits when they are ready to apply to the university.)
For more information on the 2019–20 courses being offered, including mini-courses, trimester courses, and year-long courses, visit the MOJU information page. To register for courses, visit the MOJU registration page.
RAJMN Teen Fellowship
This school-year-long program for high school students starts in September and runs for 10 months. Participants will explore and expand their understanding of who they are, who they want to be, and how they want to make a mark on the world. Monthly guest speakers will cover various Jewish topics (Israel, Holocaust, Antisemitism, Jewish History, art, music, etc.).
Participants will be challenged to define their strengths, challenges, and personal leadership goals. RAJMN will provide the tools, feedback, and mentoring they need to experiment, collaborate and learn from their experiences.
Teens will have leadership opportunities in fundraising, events planning, marketing, recruitment and volunteering in the RSJ community. Fellowship participants also have the option of attending Jewish conferences in the US and worldwide. RAJMN will provide stipends for teens to attend the conferences (families will make their own travel arrangements).
The 2019 application is now closed—check back next year for the 2021 cohort.
Shir Tikvah Youth
Ninth and tenth-grade programming is held on Sundays at 9:30-11:30 am. Ninth graders spend a year exploring modern-day hot topics through the lens of Jewish ethics, taught by Jim Cohn. Tenth graders learn about and embracing Jewish moral courage with Dave Snyder and Rabbi Michael Latz, while also utilizing the iEngage Project from the Shalom Hartman Institute, where young students and adults meet to learn about and discuss Israel and Palestine, with discussions rooted in Jewish values and ideas.
Juniors & Seniors Rosh Chodesh Minyan. Shir Tikvah teens come together over meals and around the lunar transition to talk about important issues, explore Jewish identity and leadership, and learn practical skills to prepare for post-graduation. Facilitated by Forrest Yesnes. Held on various dates at various locations.
STiFTY – Shir Tikvah’s high school youth community (9th—12th)
Our high school youth group comes together to build and strengthen the teen community, support the Shir Tikvah mission and vision, and fuse Jewish practice with social justice issues important to them. Meets on various dates and at various locations and times.
Teen Exchange Program 2020–2021
Looking to explore your Jewish heritage more deeply? Want to make new friends—whether they’re in Minneapolis or Israel? Is traveling on your 2020 bucket list? The Partnership2Gether Teen Exchange is the perfect opportunity for you to meet up with other local Jewish teens to bond, share reflections and ideas, learn from local leaders, and to challenge yourself through new relationships and a new travel experience. Application now open—apply here.
Temple Israel’s JEWL (Jewish Experiential Whole-Person Learning)
JEWL’s High School Years provide opportunities to deepen connections with peers and Temple Israel’s clergy. Learners build their personal Jewish identities as teens while tackling the challenges of being a citizen of the world. Each Wednesday evening session begins with dinner for all learners together. Sessions are held on Wednesday evenings. Learn more.
TIPTY (Temple Israel Program for Temple Youth)
TIPTY is a unique Reform Jewish youth community combining social and educational events for 9th-12th graders! Participate in innovative programs and creative worship. Take action with Tikkun Olam and take part in year-round weekend events and summer opportunities. Lead programming and create a safe space for our teens. Learn from peers and inspire our community to think about Judaism in new ways. Learn more.
U of M Modern Hebrew no longer offered through College in the Schools
As of March 2019, the University of Minnesota announced that it will no longer be offering Modern Hebrew through its College in the Schools program. Learn about other options for Hebrew learning at the University of Minnesota, or see the below online course.
U of M Modern Hebrew online course
Beginning spring 2020, a 5-credit Modern Hebrew course will be offered online through the University of Minnesota. The course will consist of weekly Zoom meetings on Monday evenings with flexible readings and assignments. For more information, please contact Director of Hebrew Language Instruction Dr. Renana Schneller.