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7th through 12th grade Education and Engagement


Time Program
9-10:30 a.m.

Opt-In Experiences:

  • Madrichim
    A variety of roles available for 7th-12th grades that will play a vital role in building relationships between students as well as serving as role models
10:30-11 a.m. T'filah (K-12 by grade cluster)
11 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Main Program:

Enroll for 2022-2023 here.

Core groups
Each student will be placed into a core group of students in the same grade (except for 11th and 12th grades, which will be combined) with whom they will have the opportunity to develop deep relationships as they spend the year exploring, learning, and having fun together. In these groups, your teen will focus on age-appropriate Judaic knowledge including Torah, ethics and values, Israel, theology, and more. Social Emotional Spiritual Learning will be integrated into each session and teens will have the opportunity to participate in social justice projects throughout the year. Core groups will also have options to participate in Jewish life both in- and outside of the classroom. 

Electives give our teens the opportunity to see that Jewish learning can take place anywhere, and that even things we do every day can be viewed through a Jewish lens. Through electives, teens see Jewish values, traditions, and stories come to life right before their eyes. Mixed-grade electives are chosen once each semester and might include: 

  • creative writing/storytelling elective in which teens bring Jewish history to life through tell writing and telling of stories.  
  • theater elective in which teens express Jewish values and content through improv games, plays, short skits, or videos. 
  • mindfulness elective that teaches teens to be aware of their inner and outer experiences, to recognize their thoughts for what they are – thoughts, and to understand how emotions manifest and how to balance them. 
  • pop culture/music elective that explores Judaism through film, music, and other media.  
  • social justice elective that explores issues teens see in their daily lives and creates the opportunity for teens to work with the Social Justice Council to create and launch a social justice project.  

NOTE: 10th grade Confirmation students will be required to select the Confirmation elective. 

T’filah, or worship, is a weekly experience facilitated by clergy and staff that deepens the relationship our teens already have with prayer. This spiritual worship experience will teach them how to pray, how to look inward, and how to open themselves to experiencing connection with God. Throughout the year, students will be led through varied worship and spiritual experiences that will inspire them and give them some much needed space for quiet reflection, introspection, and joy. 

Madrichim are 7th through 12th graders who serve as role models for younger students and support the YL+E program by:  

  • serving as a teaching assistant in a core group and helping that group focus on relationship building, 
  • honing leadership skills and developing all school and peer programming,  
  • assisting in the office, 
  • leading music with the Cantors and song leader, 
  • or participating in whatever way interests them! 

Madrichim play a vital role in building relationships between students as well as serving as wonderful teen role models in our community. Madrichim can choose to earn community service hours or get paid a nominal amount per session. The madrichim program is a great way to build skills, give back to Temple, and ensure the continuity of our program. The very best moments are those in which younger students tell us they can’t wait to grow up to be madrichim.  

If you are interested in being in the madrichim program please fill out this form

The madrichim program is fully customizable, so if you don’t see something for your teen in this description, please reach out to Shira Stevenson, Director of Youth Engagement. 

The 10th grade Confirmation program consists of a combination of small and large group experiences designed to enhance learning and deepen relationships. Teens spend time learning about different Jewish beliefs on God, social responsibility through advocacy, Israel, and how to define the boundaries of community. Confirmation students meet each Sunday YL+E is in session, during both the core group and the elective time blocks (from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.).  

Rabbis Stern and Utley and Mike Sims, our Confirmation teachers, look forward to the privilege of learning with teens at various points throughout the year. For more information, please contact Rabbi Dan Utley.  

Emanu-El 6/7
Emanu-El 6/7 is a welcoming and open-minded community that honors the unique experience of middle-school. 6th and 7th graders begin to discover their Jewish identities as they transition meaningfully from Youth Emanu-El to Teen Emanu-El. Emanu-El 6/7 programming connects youth to Jewish life by focusing on participants’ curiosities, relationship building, and peer leadership opportunities. For more information, please contact Shira Stevenson, Director of Youth Engagement. 

Teen Emanu-El/Teen Leadership Council
Teen Emanu-El is an inviting and impactful community that provides teens in 8th through 12th grades meaningful ways to explore their Judaism through learning, social justice, travel, and connection with other Jewish teenagers. Teens who are interested in leadership roles can also apply to be part of our Teen Leadership Council. The Teen Emanu-El Leadership Council serves as the executive board, and represents the entire teen population at Temple Emanu-El. This council works with Shira Stevenson, Director of Youth Engagement, and Rabbi Utley to fulfil the mission and uphold the vision of Teen Emanu-El. 

If you are interested in getting involved with Teen Emanu-El or being on the Teen Leadership Council, please contact Shira Stevenson, Director of Youth Engagement.

For any urgent questions please contact Youth Learning + Engagement at or call the office at 214-706-0021.