B'nai Mitzvah, What's Up?!, and Teens

 ⇒ Overview of our Curriculum

 ⇒ FAQs

 ⇒ Schoolwide Calendar

The B’nai Mitzvah Program at Kolot Chayeinu is a three-year commitment
Child becoming B'nai Mitzvah this year? Need our information forms? Click here.

Participation in B'nai Mitzvah Class for Years 1 and 2 (6th and 7th graders) includes:

Participation in B'nai Mitzvah Class for Years 1 and 2 (6th and 7th graders) includes:

  • Weekly class on Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 PM
  • Monthly Family Class with Clergy, 6:30-7:30 PM (pizza dinner included)
  • Attendance at 12 Shabbat services throughout the year (7 of the 12 must be Saturday morning or minkha)
  • Weekly private B'nai Mitzvah tutoring for one year leading up to B'nai Mitzvah

Participation in What's Up?! for Year 3 (8th graders) includes:

  • Class roughly every other Tuesday (pizza dinner included), plus several additional rehearsals in the springs
  • 3 of 4 scheduled Action Days (usually Sundays)

Years 1 & 2

B’nai Mitzvah (6th and 7th Grade)

Students study Jewish history and culture, ritual and religion, values, and ethics through arts, text-study, media, and projects in this partially elective-based core curriculum. Each class also features a community-building component and ongoing Hebrew language learning through prayer and Torah study in preparation for the b'nai mitzvah ritual.

Examples of Core Curriculum Courses Include:

  • Gender & Judaism
  • God Talk
  • This Land is Our Land: History of Israel/Palestine
  • Haftorah Unpacked: Adventures of Prophet and Kings
  • Making Your Own Talit
  • The Folk in Folkdance

Additionally, students and parents gather together monthly with a member of the clergy for Family Class in order to study Torah and Talmudic text together, explore the Jewish calendar and holidays, and delve deeper into what becoming a Bat/Bar Mitzvah means for students and families. 

Individualized one-on-one preparation for B'nai Mitzvah ritual begins around one year prior to ritual. 

Year 3

What's Up?!

What’s Up?! (8th grade and above) is an arts-based social-justice course that explores issues of power/privilege, justice/injustice, and oppression/resistance. Students synthesize their learning by writing and performing an original piece to raise awareness and funds for not-for-profit organizations of their choosing, based on the issues that they explore. 

Learning includes:

  • Jewish text study
  • Multimedia learning activities (primarily creative writing, theater, photography, film)
  • Guest artists and activists
  • Community organization workshops and teaching materials
  • Organization visits and action days throughout the year
  • Performance development for the congregation and friends, which includes writing, rehearsing, set building, ticket selling, and choosing organizations to benefit from the ticket sales
  • Consensus-based decision processes


Our teens programming is youth-led with guidance from our Teen Coordinator.  

Past Programs have included:

  • Youth Culture Shabbat - a Shabbat weekend of art and culture by Kolot teens including music, song, dance, fine art exhibition, Torah study leading and drashing, food, and prayer-leading. 
  • Shabbat Comes to You - a Shabbat/holiday delivery program bringing monthly Shabbat and/or holiday deliveries to Kolot members who are in some time of need.
  • Brooklyn-wide Jewish Teen Workshops and Culture - 5776 included a peer-led workshop called "Intersectionality for Collective Liberation" led by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice's Youth Brigade as well as a performance and workshop by KALEIDOSCOPE

Teen Teacher Assistants:

We also have several steady Teacher Assistant positions from Sept-June as well as intermittent Childcare Provider needs. We are currently hiring for the 2016-17 school year. These opportunities provide mentorship, professional development, and learning and come with a stipend or volunteer hours.

Interested teens should email the Director of Youth Education, Franny Silverman, at franny@kolotchayeinu.org


© 2017 Kolot Chayeinu | Voices of Our Lives