Sign In Forgot Password

Teen Program

8th -12th Grade Program 2021-2022 Academic Year Calendar

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.

As we look towards next Fall, decisions about in-person activities and COVID protocol will be made by Rabbi Rose and Rachel Wachtel following the recommendations of the CBS COVID Committee, public health guidelines, and Seattle Public School. As the fall gets closer we will send updated information about our COVID policies.

We are hopeful that we will be able to welcome our teens (8th-12th grades) to CBS and are working with the COVID committee to determine the best plans and policies to do so in a safe way. At the same time, we know that some families will not feel comfortable coming back quite yet and others are unable to get to CBS mid-week due to time and distance.  In order to best meet everyone’s different needs, our plan is to offer classes in person on Tuesday  and the option for folks to join the Teen classes virtually if not able to come in person. If the CBS Religious School team and the COVID committee determine that it is not safe to meet in person, we will transition all the classes to meet via Zoom.

We are thrilled to offer the following opportunities. 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. Registration for the 2021-2022 academic year is now available through Shulcloud.

Shabbat and Holidays

Youth Minyan: At Congregation Beth Shalom’s Youth Minyan, post B’nai Mitzvah teens participate in this no adults allowed service that is led by teens. Youth Minyan gives them the opportunity to practice their synagogue skills, pray with their peers, and socialize over a delicious meal. Youth Minyan will meet 6-8 times in the 2021-2022 school year. Mark your calendars for the 2021-2022 dates: 10/2, 11/20,1/8, 2/5, 3/12, 5/7.  Registration required as we transition back to in-person, socially distanced Shabbat Services from 10:30-12:30 in the Beit Midrash. Email Gabi Robbins or Jeremy Rose  to volunteer to read Torah and lead services.

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 more.  To read all about the program and the opportunities available for the upcoming school year, read details about the program here. Application deadline- August 19th.

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:

Teens are invited to join us on to help out at the CBS Purim Carnival and other CBS events

Learning Opportunities for Teens:

Tuesday Learning: Each Tuesday teens are invited to join their peers in person (or on Zoom) from 6:30pm-8:00pm. The program starts with dinner, some social time and games just for teens and is followed by 1 hour of class time. A variety of 6 week courses are offered including high level text study, Israeli television shows, and more. Class options for the 2021-2022 academic year will be posted soon.

Due to the unpredictable nature of our current situation, classes and dates are subject to change.  Families will be notified of any changes to sessions they have signed up for.

Session A:  September 14st-November 2nd

Exploring Washington State Jewish History and How it is Gathered with Yuval Berenstein and WSJHS
This is not your normal history class focused on dates and events. This class will help you understand how and why Jewish history is so important and interesting by focusing on the local level. This class will show you how Jewish people have been a part of Washington state since its creation through a discussion of different local historical topics and how that information is gathered and saved. This class is designed as a class project to create a podcast about a topic of your choosing and the final podcast will be broadcast over the radio.


Session B: November 9th-December 14th

Option 1: Gender and Sexuality in the Bible with Abbie Bjornson
Torah stories are full of gender, teaching us how to be part of family and community, and often connecting people’s roles to their sex, body features, and cultural context. How does gender show up in Torah, and what purpose does it serve? How can we understand our own gender and sexuality with these stories in mind? Each week, we will study the gender and sexuality of characters in a familiar Torah story. No wrong answers, everyone is welcome!

Option 2: Hashem Namiskar: Jewish Approaches to Mindfulness and Movement with Bevin Fritz-Waters
Many of you know about yoga and mindfulness meditation, but did you know that the Rabbis themselves also practiced forms of meditation and movement. Learn about the history of these practices and try some for yourself with this course.


Session C: January 4th-February 8th

Option 1: Exploring Judaism Through Art with Rabbi Borodin
This class will combine text learning and hands on art projects.  Each week, we will study a different aspect of Judaism related to visual art and representation and have a related hands on art project.  This class is good for both those who think they have artistic ability or no artistic ability.

Option 2: Balkan and Jewish with Mor Ben Haim (CBS Shinshinit)
Let’s explore the history and culture of the Jews in the Balkan!


Session D: February 15th-March 29th

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: Honestly, Can we Talk about Antisemitism? with Hilary Bernstein
Antisemitism has been called the “oldest hatred.” What does that even mean!? If it is so old, why do Jews seem so alarmed by antisemitism in the world today? Let’s talk about this openly. If you’re not sure what antisemitism looks like, sounds like, or feels like, or how you’re supposed to react to it, know that you’re not alone. Together, we’ll explore what antisemitism looks like today and why it is on the uptick. Then we’ll consider how and when you might choose to respond.


Session E: April 5th-May 24th

Option 1: Why do we do that? with Rabbi Rose
An Exploration of Seemingly Strange Jewish Customs” (things like lifting our pinky during hagbah, looking at our hands during havdalah, etc.)

Option 2: Israeli Theater: Not What You Had in Mind with Mor ben Chaim (CBS Shinshinit)
Learn about the history of the art and the building of the Israeli theater in particular.

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. This spring we are excited to welcome our 8th graders to USY!

Teen Program Pricing 2021-2022

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 and USY at a discounted price.

Opportunity Price
Teen Program Bundle $900
All Tuesday Evening Learning $825
Individual Tuesday Learning Sessions (6 weeks long) $190
USY $110

Q: Why should I register now when there is so much uncertainly about the fall?

A: Your registration is tremendously important for our planning. Over the summer we need to hire teachers, make decision about curriculum, purchase books, and more based on the number of students participating in each program.

Q: How do I register?

Registration for the 21/22 – 5782 year  is through Shulcloud. Please click here to log in.
Then click “My Account" on the top menu (ignore the dropdown menu; "My Account" is its own page). From there click the “My Enrollments” tile, and enroll for the 21/22 Teen Program.
Click here for a detailed walkthrough of the registration process. If you have trouble registering, please call the CBS office for help.

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 Colin Coltrera, Executive Director, at (206) 524-0075 ext 2502 BEFORE filling out the registration form.

Sun, January 23 2022 21 Shevat 5782