GRADE 7

Mondays, 3:45 - 5:45 pm

Teachers: Cantor Robin Joseph, Laurence Holzman, Rabbi Ben Newman + Rachel Gordon Bernstein

Our Grade 7 curriculum delves deeply into Jewish values through the study of tzedakah, belief in God, and Torah as a guideline for living.  Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to explore their own beliefs and ideas while learning what Judaism has to say on each matter.  Our goal is to provide the tools with which our students can become critical thinkers about Judaism and gain insight into understanding their own beliefs and traditions as they face the future as young Jewish adults. We also encourage our 7th graders to participate in the Temple’s many tzedakah projects throughout the year, helping local organizations such as Midnight Run, Feeding Westchester and The Sharing Community.

In Hebrew, the students continue to work on the Shabbat morning liturgy, with an eye towards leading their own Bar/Bat Mitzvah service.  In small group settings, and often one-on-one tutoring, the students complete mastery of these prayers as well as a Torah and Haftarah portion, suited specifically for each child. Students receive their Torah and Haftarah portions during the course of the school year. Each week, the children are given individualized homework to ensure that they are all ready for their big day.

Each child will also write a D’var Torah (commentary/interpretation of his/her Torah portion) to be presented during the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service. Every child will, eventually, have individual lessons with Cantor Robin or another member of our teaching staff, starting approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the date of his or her Bar/Bat Mitzvah, but not necessarily before that.

Click below to access .mp3 files of all the blessings and prayers the students will need for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Students should download these files to their cell phones and/or iPods, so that they can practice both in Religious School and at home.

GRADE 7 OPPORTUNITIES + EXPERIENCES

  • Lead the Temple’s annual Grade 7 Sukkot Sleeping Bag Drive for Midnight Run

  • Opportunity to participate in or new 6-7 Club, a youth group led by Rabbi Ben Newman

  • Midnight Run opportunities every other month (with a parent!), led by Cantor Robin

  • Grade 7 Family Shabbat Dinner + Service, Friday, November 2, 6:30 pm

  • Sharing Community collection, led by Grade 7, Sunday, November 18

  • Participate in a special Top Secret activity on the last day of class, Monday, May 13
    Save the date—it is imperative that ALL 7th Graders attend!!!

  • Sign up to help our teens run the Flower & Bake Sale on Tzedakah Day, Sunday, May 19

PLANNING THE BAR/BAT MITZVAH

  • Cantor Robin, or another member of the teaching team, will be in touch with you to schedule individual lessons for your child.

  • The Temple will be in touch with you two months prior to your bar/bat mitzvah date about logistics and details (regarding your Oneg Shabbat, etc.)

  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah receptions may be held at the Temple, based on scheduling availability. Please contact the Temple office to guarantee availability, and be in touch with the office as soon as possible regarding all such plans and any questions you may have.

  • If yarmulkes have been ordered, please bring them to the Temple by Friday evening.

WHAT TO EXPECT FRIDAY NIGHT…

  • Although most Friday night services start at 7:30 p.m., some will begin earlier based on special programming.

  • Your family should plan to arrive at the Temple no later than 15 minutes prior to the start of services.

  • Services begin with Cantor Robin lighting the Shabbat candles. Typically, the mother of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah says the blessing over the candles. Afterwards, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah chants the Kiddush (and takes a sip of wine from the Kiddush cup that will be presented to them the following morning!)

  • Immediate family sits in the front row, on both Friday night and Saturday morning.

  • All Grade 7 families are encouraged to attend these Friday night services.

WHAT TO EXPECT SATURDAY MORNING…

  • All services, unless otherwise arranged, start promptly at 10:30 a.m. --invitations must indicate this -- and end around 11:45 a.m., give or take. Your family should arrive at

  • the Temple no later than 10:00 a.m.

  • Using a Photographer?

    • NO PICTURE-TAKING, FILMING OR RECORDING OF ANY KIND IS PERMITTED DURING THE SERVICE.

    • You and your photographer may be here as early as 9:00 a.m. to take photos before the ceremony.

    • All picture-taking must end by 10:00 a.m. (and may resume after the ceremony.)

    • The Torah may NOT be used in photo shoots.

    • We also ask that cell phones and other electronic devices be turned off during the service.

  • Honors for family members:

    • Up to six Aliyot, not including the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Please speak with the Rabbi to plan these.

  • It is a tradition at Temple Beth Shalom for one or both of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s parents to give a speech to their child during the service. Parents should consult with the Rabbiin advance regarding this.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A RECEPTION AT THE TEMPLE...

Please contact the Temple office at (914) 479-5360 to clear availability and make arrangements.  Below are the documents you will need:

Contract for use of the Temple

Temple rules

GRADE 7 SHABBAT AND FAMILY DINNER + SERVICE

Join your child’s grade for a Shabbat dinner at
6:30 pm with family, classmates, and teachers. Then, at 7:30 pm, we welcome the entire congregation to our lively Family Shabbat Service, in which your child’s grade will participate.

Friday, November 2
Families with students in all grades are encouraged to attend all our monthly Family Services.

THE SHARING COMMUNITY: GRADE 7

Once a month, Temple Beth Shalom provides a lunch of baked ziti and loaf cakes for some 200 hungry men, women and children through The Sharing Community in Yonkers. As part of a continuing effort to make Tzedakah an integral part of our program, the Religious School will once again be leading this endeavor, and families in each grade will be asked to sign up on our emailed Google document to contribute.

Grade 7 will be leading the collection for:
Sunday, November 18, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
As always, the entire congregation is encouraged to sign up to contribute food each month.

PARENT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

We are also looking for Religious School Class Parents in all grades. We appreciate your input and invite you to share talents, interests, hobbies, and professions. We also need your help with Tzedakah projects.

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