Learning/Grades 8-12

"Dor Hahemshekh" (DHH) means "The Next Generation", and that is how we view our post B'nai Mitzvah middle and high school students at Bet Am Shalom - as torch bearers who will carry Jewish tradition into the future. We offer serious learning for our young adults who are ready to grapple with complex philosophical, theological and moral issues.

Traditional texts and subjects are taught in an environment that encourages free expression, respect for varying traditions, and thoughtful discourse. Meets weekly on Monday nights, starting at 6pm with pizza and concluding at 8pm.

2013-2014 Calendar with links for more information about events.

Teen community programs and social programs, including retreats

Social Action Opportunities

Click here for 2013-2014 school registration

DHH Programs and Classes

Madrichim Program
Madrichim Teacher and Supervisor: maypzee [at] gmail [dot] com (May Zamechek)

Learn the skills to work as a grades K-6 teacher's aide, in our Shorashim program, youth group, or on Shabbat mornings as a Junior Congregation Leader. The word madrich means "guide" or "instuctor." Teens can earn Madrichim Certification by attending madrichim classes and workshops, observing classes and working as a madrich/a.

  • All our madrichim are continuing their Jewish education either in our Dor Hahemshekh program on Monday nights or at other Jewish education programs.
  • 8th graders can attend Madrichim training classes during Dor Hahemshekh on Monday nights with May Zamechek. During the class they will learn teaching and leadership skills for a Jewish setting.  8th graders will also observe classes/programs outside of class time.  8th graders may be asked to volunteer as teachers' aides if needed.
  • 9th-12th graders who have completed the Madrichim training can work as madrichim and be paid.  They touch base with May about their experiences as madrichim.
  • 8th-12th graders in our Madrichim Program are invited to participate in two Westchester Teen Madrichim Workshops to strengthen their teaching and leadership skills.  Attendance at these workshops is part of the Westchester Madrichim Certification process.  The workshops will be held at Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains on 10/20/13 and 1/12/14 from 11:30am-2:30pm (lunch provided).  There will be a Westchester Madrichim Celebration BBQ on May 18th from 4:30-6:30pm at Kol Ami.
  • Madrichim in grades 9 and up who have experience in the class are invited to plan and teach a lesson with guidance from the teacher and May.  Click here to learn more about this initiative.

Contact Education Director eddirector [at] betamshalom [dot] org (Abby Reiken) for more information.

Kitah Chet/8th Grade:

May Zamechek, Instructor

Students will explore their Jewish identity, decision-making, and leadership skills through the successful and impressive Facing History and Ourselves curriculum.  Learning will take place through discussions, text study, and hands-on projects, including creative arts workshops. 

Kitah Tet/9th Grade: 

Daphna Neiger, Instructor

Our Kitah Tet will explore Jewish involvement with Social Justice in America, including units on Immigration & the Labor Movement, Jewish charitable organizations, the Civil Rights Movement, and Poverty in the US.  The curriculum includes experiential activities, compelling videos, Jewish texts, thought-provoking simulations and debates, speakers, and hands-on projects. Teens will be empowered with the understanding and advocacy skills to perform tikkun olam (repairing the world).

Kitah Yod/10th Grade:

First period (6:35-7:15pm) "Jewish Ethics & Modernizing Torah Stories" with Jack Gruenberg
Through debates, small group projects involving internet research and creating documents online, the students will explore the role of Responsa in answering ethical questions, then create their own Responsa. The students will also reconstruct Torah stories in a contemporary context with connections to current issues.

Second period (7:20-8pm): "My Jewish Beliefs" with Rabbi Les Bronstein
What is the Jewish view of God? Of Torah? Of evil? Of Jewish peoplehood and the purpose of Jewish life? It depends on what century you’re talking about! We will study “theology” (the study of God-belief) in the Bible, in the Rabbinic period, in Maimonides (12th c), in Luria (16th c), in Spinoza (17th c), in Chassidic teaching (18th -19th c), and among the great Jewish thinkers of the 20th and 21st centuries (Kaplan, Buber, Heschel, Green, Kushner, Plaskow, and more!). At year’s end, each of us will try to articulate our OWN Jewish beliefs.

Kitah Yod-Alef/11th Grade & Kitah Yod-Bet/12th Grade:

First period (6:35-7:15pm): "Midrash and Imagination" with Rabbi Les Bronstein
The rabbi will guide the class through some of the most famous and perplexing literary passages of the Talmud and Midrash. They will tour Shimon bar Yochai’s cave, Akhnai’s stove, Abraham’s father’s idol shop, the mystical orchard (pardes) of no return, and much more.

Second period (7:20-8pm) "Jewish Living on Your Own & Modern Israel" with Jack Gruenberg
Through this course, teens will think critically about challenging decisions they will be making on their own post high school, including how to respond to protests against Israel and how to live Jewishly away from home.  A multi-media Israel curriculum and a variety of Jewish sources will provide questions and insights for us to explore together.