Kadima (meaning “Go forth!” in Hebrew) is our 8th grade program, which meets 14 weeks a year. The focus of Kadima is to explore concepts in Jewish spirituality through a teen lens. The Kadima teacher facilitates, but does not lead discussions. Each week, a new spiritual concept is introduced and the Kadima students discuss its relevance to their lives as teens. We discuss such concepts as: Oneness, peace, discernment, choices, gossip, and sacredness. These are fascinating discussions that helps our teens understand Jewish spirituality through a unique lens.
Our 9th grade confirmation students also meet 14 sessions per year, as they are involved in an inter-generational interview project entitled “Humans of CBHT”. Students learn to conduct in depth interviews of congregants and to discern from these interviews what Jewish values and lessons can be gleaned from their life experience. At the conclusion of the year, the Confirmation Class leads a service in which they share the results of their interviews enabling the congregants to know one another on a deeper level.
Our 10th, 11th and 12th grade Wilderness Leadership Program. Teens involved in this program partake in 2 overnight hiking and camping expeditions where they experience Shabbat and Havdalah in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and explore leadership skills that they will take with them into their lives as adult Jews.
Available to students in 8th – 12th grade who have completed our educational program (or a similar educational program at another synagogue), the Madrichim Program enables our teens to work as teaching aides and tutors on Sunday mornings and during our mid-week Hebrew session on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. During their first year in the Madrichim Program, we ask that all madrichim serve as volunteers. In the years that follow, madrichim are paid a weekly stipend for their work. This is an ideal opportunity for students to gain work experience and to stay connected to their religious school community. In order for students to be Madrichim, they must participate in Kadima, Confirmation, and Wilderness Leadership.
NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth) is our Temple’s youth group, open to all teens from 8th – 12th grade. Unlike Kadima, Confirmation, Wilderness Leadership, and the Madrichim Programs, NFTY is a social group that does not require students to continue their education or work as Madrichim. NFTY participants participate in regular meetings, go on social outings, and engage with social action and Jewish ritual. This includes opportunity for travel to regional and national NFTY conferences.