8-12th Grade The Emanu-El Fellowship
Your child’s religious school education does NOT end with the B’nei Mitzvah, in fact, it is truly just beginning. We want YOUR TEEN to be an Emanu-El Fellow!
TEF is a five year program where our teens explore their Jewish identity, tradition, and history. They are challenged with contemporary ethical considerations through group study as well as service learning. Students reflect on their Jewish legacy in order to shape their future. The goal of TEF is to produce tomorrow’s Jewish leaders: dedicated and well informed individuals, prepared to encounter a modern, diverse society through a Jewish ethical lens.
Emanu-El Fellows participate in debate, hevruta study, family learning, special events, and immersive travel opportunities which include LA, NYC, and DC!
8th Grade: Tough Questions and Sacred Choices, taught by Rabbi Beth Singer and Rabbi Jason Rodich
8th Grade TEF (Fellowship) will take place every other Sunday from 10:30-11:45. This class will explore contemporary and controversial issues that affect our teens as they navigate modern daily life. Guided by our ancient texts and traditions, students will look at issues of sexuality, war, death and dying, tattoos, bullying, messianic beliefs, abortion, and much more and see what Judaism has to say about all of it. This class encourages friendly debate and open and honest conversation.
9th Grade: Politics and High Drama: History of Modern Israel through the taught by Ilan Vitemberg, with four sessions on the Shoah (Holocaust) taught by Ariana Estoque
Why did the Israeli government almost fall three times because of a song competition? What are the relationships between Donald Trump, Wonder Woman, China and Israel? Why do Israelis of all origins and walks of life jump into fountains in the main square of Tel Aviv at 3:00 am??!! The Eurovision Song Contest is the most watched live TV event in the world, yet very few Americans know what it is all about. In Israel, Eurovision is a big deal. Students will get a closer and unique look into Israel’s DNA and discover what makes this country tick. The tension between the ultra-orthodox and secular Jews, between Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, between Arab Israelis and Jews come into play, alongside beautiful moments of unity, as Israel, once a year, chooses the song that represents it in this contest.
There will be four sessions on The Shoah taught by our Director of Member Experience, and Master Jewish Educator Ariana Estoque. Students will explore its lessons and its legacy as Jews in the 21st century. While this can be challenging material, our students need to understand the underpinnings of historical antisemitism, the uniqueness of the Holocaust, capital “H”, and the legacy we all carry from that epoch in Jewish history. We will not go over every detail of the Holocaust or WWII; many questions will be answered, many will not. But the essentials will be covered. We will talk about the horrors of the Shoah, but we will not focus on them. We will look at the complexities of politics, power, and scapegoating. We will dispel some very common fallacies about the Holocaust. We will explore altruism and being an upstander. Finally, we will sprinkle some of the current antisemitic rhetoric our students may be hearing or seeing and figure out a way to respond with facts, dignity, and pride. All of this will connect to their broader exploration of the State of Israel and the homeland for the Jewish people.
10th Grade: Theology and American Jewry, taught by Rabbi Jonathan Singer
10th Grade allows our students to ask, “What does it mean to be an American Jew or a Reform Jew for that matter?” This class will attempt to answer these questions among others as students utilize the tools of Jewish texts, theology, and historical experience. Often there will be more questions than answers, but that too is part of being a member of Am Yisrael – those who engage with and struggle with and embrace – God, holiness, and hope!
There will be a 10th Grade trip to New York City with a focus on Jewish Heritage. The trip will take place from Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 23, 2023.
11th Grade: Comparative Religions and Social Justice, taught by Rabbi Sarah Joselow Parris
11th-grade students explore their own religious history as well as the other major religions of the world. This very experiential year is filled with multiple field trips around the city, from the local Islamic Center to Saint Ignatius Cathedral to an Orthodox synagogue. Students will engage in deep discussions about Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. This journey will prepare them for their Confirmation/Graduation ceremony in 12th grade where they will publicly affirm their Jewish religious expression.
11th and 12th-grade L’Taken Social Justice Seminar in DC
This year from December 9-12, our 11th and 12th graders will collectively go on a trip to our nation’s capital with a focus on religion and social justice. They will participate in L’Taken, a Jewish social justice seminar. L’Taken Social Justice Seminars | Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
“For more than six decades, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC) has worked to educate, inspire, and mobilize the Reform Jewish community to advocate for social justice. We mobilize around federal, state, provincial, and local legislation on more than 70 pressing socio-economic issues, including gun violence prevention, immigration, reproductive rights, and criminal justice reform. As a joint instrumentality of the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, we represent the values of the largest and most diverse Jewish Movement in North America to governments at all levels. As part of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, our work is nonpartisan.”
12th Grade: On The Map/Senior Seminar/ Confirmation, taught by Rabbi Ryan Bauer
The Senior year at Emanu-El truly allows our students to explore Jewish life beyond Emanu-El and San Francisco. Our graduating Fellows will have the opportunity to explore questions about God, Torah, and Israel that they have been wrestling with throughout their Jewish educational experience. They will look at Jewish life on campus; Hillel, AIPAC, Chabad, etc. They will also use the curriculum, On The Map, to explore the complexities of Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The final portion of the year, the students will shift their attention to the Confirmation/Graduation journey and ceremony. The students will study the evolution of Confirmation and its legacy within Reform Judaism and at Emanu-El. Along with the clergy and Ariana Estoque, the class will compile their Confirmation ceremony and declare their personal religious expression on the bima, on May 26, 2023.
Questions? Contact Tori Starks, Teen Programs Manager, at [email protected]
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm | Office closed at 1:00 pm.
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm | Sounds of the Shofar: Children’s Kol Nidre ServiceLed by…
5:30 pm - 7:15 pm | Join us in-person for Opening The Gates: Kol Nidre…