A conservative, egalitarian synagogue

An Overview of Havurat Torah Teen Learning



Temple Israel Center engages our children and their families in the beauty of living and learning Jewishly.  We believe that, just as each letter of the Torah scroll is indispendable, each person’s spiritual development is necessary for the integrity and the continuity of the Jewish community and for living responsibly in the world.  

The mitzvot, shared by our families ad our community, are learning and living Torah and Jewish values, tikkun olam, and prayer.

From our vision statement, we have two main priority goals for every educational experience which are:

  • Building our community

  • Living Jewishly

Learning in communitY

2019-2020 Tuition >>

2018-2019/5779 Calendar >> 

2019-2020 Havurat Torah Registration Form (print) here >>

2019-2029 Havurat Torah Registration Form (online) here >>

Spring 2018-2019 Havurat Torah Course Registration here >>

Credit Card Form >>


There are many different ways our teens can get involved, learn, and have fun!  Whether it’s learning on Wednesday nights in Havurat Torah, participating in Social Action Sundays, attending USY events or Rosh Hodesh: It’s A Girl Thing, or being a Shabbat buddy, Teen TECH consultant, or madrikhim (assistant) in Shorashim, teens find a home here at TIC.


Education is an experience.  The rest is information.

 - Albert Einstein

Teens in grades 7-12 continue their Jewish learning in our high school program, Havurat Torah, a community of learners.   At Havurat Torah we recognize that our teens have important questions to ask and that they lead very busy lives.  And so, we not only offer a variety of experiences that allow teens to explore their questions and develop their own answers, but a flexible schedule, as well.

Through text study, research, teamwork, and hands on activities, our teens learn about what interests them as we develop curricula around their questions.  They develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and initiative, which are important 21st century skills that will prepare them not only for college, but also for life!

In our program, teens have input in their learning environment and content.  They are empowered to shape the culture of their learning community and are also able to choose the topics they will explore, and with whom they will learn.

Our overarching goal is for our learners to feel a sense of accountability and responsibility in creating a learning environment that is consistent with our vision and two priority goals: building community and living Jewishly.    



Seventh grade is a busy year! Many are studying for their bar/bat mitzvah as they “officially” enter Jewish adulthood. Throughout the year, our young teens will not only be learning about the idea of becoming a Jewish adult, but also define what this means to them. 

The focus of their learning – and the values that will inform their definition- is Torah, avodah, and gemilut hasadim


During the year, we will explore Jewish identity and a variety of topics—friendship, peer pressure, relationships—from a Jewish perspective.  A focus throughout the year will be building “Jewish literacy” by exploring some of Judaism’s essential teachings, texts, ideas, and practices. 


We often refer to a boy or a girl “becoming” a bar or bat mitzvah.  The use of the word “becoming” is intentional, because becoming a Jewish adult is a process, not a single moment in time.  This process includes understanding the role and purpose of prayer in our lives as Jews.  Along with our educators we will be teaching our teens the beauty and depth that prayer can have in their lives.

Gemilut Hasadim/Community

We believe that community is an essential component of meaningful Jewish learning.  A priority will be to create a feeling of community among our 7th graders, and to foster relationships between 7th graders and our older teens to help our 7th graders make the transition into the larger Havurat Torah community.  An essential Jewish value is treating others with empathy and kindness, which we emphasize as we build the kind of community where all our teens can grow and thrive.


Wednesday nights, 6:30-8:30 pm

  • 6:30 pm: Dinner
  • 7:00- 7:40 pm: 7th grade va'adah in preparation for bar/bat mitzvah 
  • 7:45-8:25 pm: Choice of elective 
  • Social Action Wednesdays: On certain designated Wednesdays all TIC teens are invited to put their learning into action to make a difference.

GRADES 8-12 


Teens want to know how their learning is relevant in their lives as American Jewish teens.  By involving them in experiences that allow them to put their learning into action, they understand that Judaism has much to say about their lives and world issues.  It is through their learning with others that their continued Jewish identity and understanding of Judaism becomes meaningful as they build lifelong friendships within a caring community.

Our teens will have the opportunity to choose their course of study based on their interests and passions.  Through their study, they will have the opportunity to put their learning into action in a multiple of ways and will see how they have the power to make a difference in their own community and in the world. 

The 8-12 grade curriculum includes both va’adot/seminars and electives.  Past years' va’adot included:

Are you interested in making a difference? Are you a potential social entrepreneur?  Here is your opportunity!

Do you like work with children? Are you interested in making learning engaging and meaningful?  Do you want to be the best madrikh/a (teen assistant) you can be in Shorashim?  Develop the skills to be an effective educator!

Do you have what it takes to be a leader? What’s your definition of leadership? How do you lead others to make positive change? Get started!

How would you define inclusion?  How can you make others feel included? Be a part of the ultimate inclusive group- a community of connected, empathic teens while you think about ways to make the communities you live in more inclusive. 


Wednesday nights, 6:30-8:30 pm

  • 6:30 pm: Dinner
  • 7:00- 7:40 pm: 7th grade va'adah in preparation for bar/bat mitzvah
  • 7:00-7:40 pm: 8th - 10th grade elective
  • 7:00-7:40 pm: 11th-12th grade special Israel elective with director, clergy and special guests 
  • 7:45-8:25 pm: Choice of electives  
  • Social Action Wednesdays: On certain designated Wednesdays all TIC teens are invited to put their learning into action to make a difference.


We are in an inclusive community!

Our goal is to ensure that all of our teens are included in our community of learning.  To learn about possible options and services, please contact our Director of Inclusion, Michelle Steinhart, at [email protected]


Questions about our program? Please email us at [email protected]