Announcing our first B'mitzvah cohort!

We’re launching NSP’s first ever B’Mitzvah cohort! This cohort is for current 6th  graders who are planning to have their B’Mitzvah this summer, the coming school year, or the following summer. Beginning in April and May you will have a meeting with Rabbi Yosef to begin planning for your family, all of the families will gather together to begin our quarterly learning sessions, and the students will begin monthly meetings with Rabbi Yosef as a cohort. Please be in touch with Rabbi Yosef if you have any questions or concerns.

We will ground our B’Mitzvah lessons in eight areas of content which will be guided by the following goals and understandings:

גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים/ Acts of Lovingkindness

There are many mitzvot. Identify, understand, and practice key mitzvot about doing acts of kindness and taking care of others, such as welcoming guests, comforting mourners, visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked.

צֶדֶק/ Justice

Engage with justice topics and discussions on race and identity, antisemitism, Zionism and diasporism, gender and sexuality, and relevant current events.

שַׁבָּת וְיוֹם טֹוב/ Shabbat and Holidays

Identify major holidays: when they happen, key mitzvot for each holiday, and associated rituals and customs.

Understand that it is a mitzvah to observe Shabbat; Shabbat is holy, and “set apart;” and that on Shabbat, we focus on rest, renewal, and community. Try on a new Shabbat practice for the year.

תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה/ Torah Study

Identify and have a basic understanding of what is included in key Jewish texts, including Torah, Nevi’im, Ketuvim, Mishna, Midrash, and Talmud.

Practice being active readers: learn and interact with our ancestors, narratives, values, and traditions. Engage in machloket (constructive disagreement), study in chevrutah (paired learning), and ask questions.

Explore levels of interpretation and understanding.

תְּפִלָּה/ Prayer

Read/chant and explain the meaning of: the Barchu, Birchot haTorah, the Shema and Ve’ahavta, Modeh Ani, a portion of Yotzer Or, and a portion of the Amidah (Avot v’Imahot).

Identify key differences and similarities between NSP’s practice and that of various streams/movements of American Judaism.

תְּשׁוּבָה/ Repentance/Transformation

Consider teshuvah from both a personal and systemic lens: from a personal lens, we focus on taking ownership of our mistakes, growing as a person, and healing broken relationships. From a systemic lens, discuss land and reparations, police and prison abolition, and relevant current events.

זְכֹר יְמוֹת עוֹלָם בִּינוּ שְׁנוֹת דֹּר־וָדֹר/ Jewish History and World Culture

Identify and understand major events in Jewish history, shifts in Jewish practice and thought, important Jewish thinkers, scholars, and activists. Learn about Jewish communities and traditions from around the world.

הִידוּר מִצְוָה/ Jewish Art, Culture, and Song

Humor and joy are integral to our traditions. Jewish culture is alive: we draw on the past to create contemporary culture. Hiddur Mitzvah, “beautifying the mitzvah,” is a Jewish value.