A Typical Day at BMitzvah
The BMitzvah program meets every Monday-Wednesday from 4-6pm. Students are expected to travel to Makom Community on their own.
Our day begins with deep text study on a story within Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible). We start with a “hook” activity that provides a creative perspective or connects the text to our own lives. Then we study a section of the text, often delving into Hebrew translation and commentary. We study as a group and in chevruta (pairs). In 2019-2020, we’ve studied the Tower of Babel, the Book of Jonah, and the Book of Ruth!
During Tefilah Workshop, each cohort member masters tefillot (prayers) from the Shabbat service and the Torah service. Mastery of a tefilah requires the student to:
- Read the prayer fluently
- Sing or chant to lead the prayer in front of our community
- Understand at least one key shoresh (root word) within the prayer
- Have a lively discussion with their teacher about the meaning of the prayer. See examples here!
Students work individually or in self-selected groups with frequent check-ins with their teacher. In the second year of the program, students begin to study Torah and Haftarah trope and practice leyning (chanting Torah and Haftarah) in a weekly Torah service.
Tefilah – Services
Our daily tefilah is student-led. Hearing the cohort lead and mingle their voices is a joy. We work towards understanding the structure of the service and the deeper meaning of each tefilah. Starting in Fall 2020, the BMitzvah cohort will share the joy of Torah reading with Makom Community learners of all ages through leading tefilah and leyning Torah together once a week.
Rosh Pinah – Capstone Projects
We finish our day by working on our Rosh Pinah (cornerstone) projects. These projects are the most unique part of our BMitzvah program, encouraging the cohort to delve into Jewish history, culture, art, science, philosophy, ritual, ethics, cooking, and any other aspect of Jewish life they might be curious about. In the first year, the entire cohort works on projects grouped together by theme. Each project begins with a teacher-led crash course, giving the cohort the basic information they need to research on their own. The students then choose something within that topic, creating individual or partnered projects. Each project is presented to the community and reflected upon within the cohort. In the second year, students decide on their own topics and course of study, creating their projects with support from our teachers. For the BMitzvah ceremony, each student creates a final, individual rosh pinah project on the topic of their choice.