Yamim Yafim & Uptown Hebrew 2023/2024
PRE-K THROUGH 5TH GRADE
Our Sunday Yamim Yafim program is a fun and active camp-style program for Pre-K through 5th graders designed to foster a deep connection with Judaism through hands-on learning and relationship building. Over the course of the year, students will explore Jewish values, holidays, Torah, Hebrew, and more while creating friendships and bonds with one another that will last for years to come. Yamim Yafim models for our students all of the ways that Judaism is a relevant, integral part of their lives even outside of dedicated Jewish spaces.
Yamim Yafim takes place on Sunday mornings. We utilize both indoor and outdoor spaces to ensure that we are able to create a wide array of dynamic programs that all of our students can enjoy. Learning outside gives us the opportunity to develop creative and exciting activities like obstacle courses and relay races that teach our students Jewish values in a fun and unique way! Similarly, meeting indoors in classroom spaces helps foster an environment that allows for other modalities of learning through mediums like storytelling, discussion, drama, art, and cooking. We promise to give you ample notice of where we’ll be meeting on any given week!
UPTOWN HEBREW FOR 3RD-6TH GRADE
All students in 3rd-6th Grades are automatically enrolled in our midweek Hebrew language program, Uptown Hebrew. With our stellar team of Hebrew teachers guiding them, students spend time each week in small groups with their peers, building up their reading and comprehension skills more and more each week. Uptown Hebrew sessions also include a short t’filah (prayer) service so students can immediately begin putting their hard work to practical use – a key ingredient to feeling confident and comfortable when their B’nei Mitzvah preparations process with Cantor Margolius begin. For more information, contact Rabbi Silverman.
6TH AND 7TH GRADE
The transition to middle school brings many changes to the daily lives, routines, and schedules of students and families. It is a time of immense social, emotional, and spiritual growth for emerging Jewish adults, which our tradition celebrates with the B’nei Mitzvah experience at age 13. Beginning in 6th Grade, Yamim Yafim shifts to meeting in the evening every-other week – not on Sunday morning with elementary school students. Doing so allows us to continue building community bonds, deepening friendships, and exploring relevant, meaningful Jewish topics in the most dynamic and engaging ways possible and at a time much more friendly to the rhythms (and sleep schedules!) of middle school – with dinner and snacks provided!
In 6th Grade, students continue attending Uptown Hebrew each Wednesday, and then on scheduled 6th/7th Grade Yamim Yafim weeks, they stay for an additional hour of class time. Throughout the year, they explore the broad history of young Jews coming of age and becoming active members of their Jewish communities, as well as thoughtfully examine all of the component pieces of their B’nei Mitzvah preparation process. There will also be plenty of guest speakers, trips to the Touro kitchen for cooking projects, and even some local field trips (more info on that soon!) that help deepen their understanding of what it means to be a modern day Jewish New Orleanian.
In 7th Grade, many students are in the height of their B’nei Mitzvah preparation process, and one of the goals of their Yamim Yafim experience is to help them feel even more supported, prepared, and excited for their big day. Throughout the year, they will study some of the foundations of Jewish justice from Torah texts and Talmudic debates all the way up to the present day. Many of their sessions will center on welcoming guest speakers or inspirational community justice partners, as well as plenty of opportunities to take part in community service projects with their peers and classmates.
8TH AND 9TH GRADE
Our Wednesday evening 8th and 9th grade experience is designed to meet the needs of our teens who are busily balancing school, friends, family, and other important parts of their lives. In order to ensure they can come as often as they’re able to without missing out on too much when seasonal sports, performances, or extracurricular clubs require them to take a few weeks off, they continue to meet in the evening every-other week; even more exciting is that their 8th and 9th grade peers from Temple Sinai join them as well! Together we explore Jewish identity through hands-on experiences like cooking traditional Jewish foods, celebrating holidays, exploring Israeli culture, creating new traditions, and cultivating bonds with one another and the larger Touro community. Additionally, every other year we invite our 8th and 9th graders to participate in a weekend-long Civil Rights trip to Birmingham and Montgomery, AL (our next trip will be during the 2024-2025 school year, not this coming year!). This trip, centered on visits to historically and culturally significant sites, explores the deep connection between the Civil Rights Movement and the American Jewish community in the South, and gives our 8th and 9th grade students a chance to get to know each other and their teachers/chaperones even better.
Like our other midweek evening programs, 8th and 9th Graders can count on there being dinner and snacks provided! Please feel free to reach out to Maya with any questions!
10TH GRADE CONFIRMATION
The oldest egalitarian Jewish life cycle event, Confirmation, is a Jewish learning experience designed to bring our 10th graders into more mature conversation with their Judaism. With our Senior Rabbi as their teacher and guide, Confirmation classes, held mostly on Sundays at 11:30, use text study, discussion, and hands-on opportunities to examine our Jewish faith, practice, ethics, history and peoplehood. The goal of this year of study is to guide students to be able to confirm the following: Judaism brings something valuable to my life, and I bring something valuable to Judaism. The Confirmation program culminates with a Shabbat service and ceremony, honoring each student, at the conclusion of the school year.