Education & Youth

Teen Program at CBS 5779

8th -12th Grade Program 5779 (2018-2019 Academic Year):

Download the teen calendar here

Congregation Beth Shalom aims to engage teens and keep them involved in Jewish life through a wide variety of social opportunities, Shabbat and Holiday experiences, formal and informal learning opportunities, and opportunities to work or volunteer with our youth.  We strive to meet the needs of different teens in our community by offering experiences that cater towards all different interests, skills, and learning styles.

We are thrilled to offer the following opportunities; many of which are brand new for the 2017-2018 academic year. All of the opportunities are available for CBS members and nonmembers.  If you have any questions or comments about our teen program, please get in touch with Rachel Wachtel, CBS Education and Youth Director.

Register for the teen programs of your choice

Our teen program strives to be open and welcoming to all. If you would like to request financial assistance with teen program tuition, please contact Carol Benedick, Executive Director, at (206) 524-0075 ext 2502 BEFORE filling out the registration form.

Shabbat and Holidays
Youth Minyan: Post B’nai Mitzvah teens participate in this no adults allowed service that is led by teens, gives them the opportunity to practice their synagogue skills, pray with their peers, and socialize over a delicious meal. Youth Minyan meets 6-8 times per year. No sign up required, just mark your calendar for the remaining 2018-2019 dates: 12/15/18, 1/12/19, 2/9/19, 3/16/19, 4/13/19, 5/11/19 (Graduation Shabbat), 6/8/19.

Teen Holiday Experiences: Approximately 4 times each year teens will be invited to participate in a Jewish Holiday experience along with one of the Rabbis or Educators at Congregation Beth Shalom. Some examples may include: a Hannukah Party, dinner in the sukkah, Havdallah on the beach, and more.

Community Involvement

Ozerim Program: 8th-12th graders work in our prek-5th grade religious school as special needs aides, teaching assistants, Hebrew tutors, and technology specialists.

B’nai Mitzvah Tutoring: The best way to learn is to teach. 8th-12th graders are invited to work as B’nai Mitzvah tutors. This provides them with a good source of income and aids them in developing skills of patience, discipline, schedule keeping, and professionalism. Typically tutors work one-on-one with learners, this year we are working to set up an option for teens to tutor as a group and build confidence and skills so that they feel more comfortable tutoring one-on-one in the future.  Teens must complete the tutor training process (it is now part of Tuesday teen learning) before they may begin tutoring.

Teen Volunteer Opportunities: On the 3rd Sunday of each month CBS offers a volunteer opportunity just for teens! This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with peers and give back. This year, 2018-2019, we will visit the following organizations: Mary’s Place, Alley Cat Acres, JFS, Operation Sack Lunch, Sunrise Senior Living, and PAWS.

Learning Opportunities for Teens:

Tuesday Learning: Each Tuesday teens are invited to come to CBS from 6:30pm-8:00pm. The program starts with a delicious dinner just for teens and is followed by 1 hour of class time. A variety of 6 week courses are offered including Hebrew Slang, History of Israel, High Level Text Study, and more.


Session 1: 10/9-11/13


Option 1: B’nai Mitzvah Tutor Training with Shira Orzech
Are you interested in becoming a b’nai mitzvah tutor? This tutor training course is the first step of the process! We will discuss differentiated learning and explore tutoring strategies while reviewing our service leading skills and deepening our understanding of Torah and Haftarah trope. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from current peer tutors and ask questions about the tutoring process. We will also study the hilchot shaliach tzibur (laws pertaining to prayer leaders) and consider what it means to be role models for our b’nai mitzvah students.Option 2: History of Israel Through Food, Music, and Culture with Noam Rinat and Rachel Wachtel
Come take a journey through the different decades in Israel’s history. For each decade we will explore music, art, and more from that time period.
Session 2: 11/20-1/8


Caring for Each Other with Beth Huppin
Learn ways to engage in responsible social justice through the study of unusual Jewish texts. Jewish tradition has much to offer in terms of our social justice work and our relationships with each other. We’ll look at diverse texts including from the Talmud and the Zohar that address these timeless human issues.
Session 3: 1/15-2/26


Option 1: Advanced Trope – Let’s Learn Festival Megillah Trope! with Shira Orzech
Come study festival megillah trope and learn to chant Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) on Passover, Ruth on Shavuot, and Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) on Sukkot! This advanced trope class is open to all teens. Signing up to leyn is encouraged but not required.Option 2: A Journey through Time with Adam Rozen-Wheeler
In this class, we will go on a crash course through all of modern human history with a focus on the development of the Jewish nation. We will also discover the impact of Jews on the world throughout the last few thousand years.
Session 4: 3/5 – 4/2Option 1: Hebrew Slang with Noam Rinat
Learn from Noam how to sounds cool using all sorts of slang from Hebrew. Additionally, in this class we will also practice some basic conversational Hebrew phrases.Option 2: Rabbinic Radicals with Rabbi Rose
We might assume that the rabbis of the Talmud were old, boring, and made lots of rules; but with a closer look into the text of the Talmud, we’ll discover that they were edgier and more radical than we might have thought. Together we’ll explore whether or not the rabbis actually hoped that the Temple would be rebuilt, what they thought of their own power, and the ways that their willingness to break from tradition actually shaped the Judaism we practice today
Session 5: 4/16-5/21


Option 1: What Does Judaism have to Say About the Issues Facing Teenagers? with Rabbi Borodin
In this class we will explore Jewish texts and values around a number of contemporary issues facing Jewish teens. What issues are you wrestling with or want to know more what Judaism has to say about it? This class will include and exploration of both issues suggested by the participants in the class and ones commonly raised as relevant to teenagers such as challenging authority, use of alcohol and drugs, body piercing, relationships with parents and teachers, pursuing justice and bullying.

Option 2:Israel in Many Perspectives with Noam Rinat

Let’s discuss the differences between being a teenager in America and in Israel and learn a bit about Zionism. We will also discuss the special days on the Israeli calendar including Memorial Day, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Independence Day.



A few other helpful links:


Registration and fees

Mostly Social:

Follow our USY Chapter, Seattle Nimratz, on Instagram

USY: USY provides our teens with a way to stay in touch with their Jewish friends and have a supportive social group. The USYers elect a board of their peers who are responsible for planning monthly social events throughout the school year.  USY also provides opportunities for teens to participate in summer programs, Israel trips, shabbatonim, and more.

Teen Program Pricing 2018-2019

We have created the teen program with a flexible structure. You may register and pay for individual opportunities if you wish. You may also choose to register for the Teen Program Bundle, which includes all Tuesday Evening Learning, USY, and Sunday volunteering at a discounted price.

Teen Program Bundle$1000
All Tuesday Evening Learning$825
Individual Tuesday Learnings$190
Sunday Volunteering$160


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