CBI's program for children preparing for bar and bat mitzvah is called "Ne'arim," Hebrew for "Youths." Students in the program meet every Monday after school to study different aspects of Jewish thought, history, and practice and to learn Hebrew, both with Rabbi Rachel Barenblat.

In the 5774 school year we'll be using new Hebrew learning resources, among them S'fatai Tiftach and Daber Ivrit (both from Torah Aura.) We'll complement our previous focus on prayerbook Hebrew with a little bit of modern Hebrew as it is spoken today.

Also in 5774 we're launching a new three-year curriculum for our Ne'arim. (See the curriculum overview in downloadable pdf form.)

During the first year of the cycle, we'll focus on Judaism and social justice (civil rights, ethical consumption) and on how Judaism relates to, and interacts with, other religious traditions. We'll close year one with a project on Jewish identity. The students will have the opportunity to make short videos about their learning. 2013-2014 will be a Year One year.

During the second year of the cycle, we'll focus on Jewish sacred time, the wheel of the year, weekday and festival and Shabbat; we'll make our own creative siddurim; we'll learn about prayer; and we'll even delve into sacred drumming! This year will feature creative projects ranging from poetry to making our own nontraditional tzitzit and tefillin. The 2014-2015 school year will be a Year Two year.

The third year of the cycle will be a Torah year. We'll explore the stories in Tanakh, the interplay of "written" and "oral" Torah, learn some mishna and Talmud, try our hands at writing Hebrew letters with quills as Torah scribes do, create innovative Torah podcasts, and more. The 2015-2016 school year will be a Year Three year.

And in 2016-2017, we'll return to the Year One curriculum. (With, of course, whatever adjustments and changes are required along the way.)

Families interested in enrolling their children, ages ten and older, in the Ne'arim program should contact the synagogue office.

Bnei Mitzvah
Download the newly updated Congregation Beth Israel
2013 B’nei Mitzvah Handbook in a pdf file below.

See photos of our 125th Anniversary Gala here.