Community Midrasha teachers and 8th-12th grade teens are creative go-getters, perpetual learners, powerful allies, and totally Jew-ish, in all senses of the word. The Community Midrasha program strives to engage teens in Jewish culture, history, and religion, inspiring them to foster their lifelong commitments to learning Jewishly. But this definitely isn’t your Bubbe’s Hebrew School. At Community Midrasha, teens explore both our world and Torah. Together, they work to see how they fit in it all and how the world and Judaism fit them. Every body is welcome here, regardless of synagogue affiliation or prior religious education. All who want to live and learn Jewishly are welcome under the Community Midrasha tent.
We are hiring for inspiring and engaging instructors! Check our job description and application instructions here.
The Community Midrasha Program is the only one of its kind in the Durham-Chapel Hill area, giving a forum for Triangle teens to inspire, create, innovate, engage, inquire, and connect through a Jewish lens. Our class offerings have evolved with our teens and their parents over the years, standing firmly in a thorough and honest presentation of Judaism, while also meeting current events, society, and ethics head-on, giving our students a safe place in which to ask tough questions and find out what it means to be Jewish. At Community Midrasha, we encourage our teens to think outside of the box and always for themselves. There are three programs under the Midrasha umbrella:
The Core Program: (8th-9th graders) Teens make their Jewish learning their own by choosing from 3 courses each semester from options like Jewish Photography, Rebellious Women of the Torah, and Jewish Cooking.
Fall 2019 course include:
- Moot Beit Din: Get a first-hand look at the inner workings of the Jewish legal system and sharpen your critical thinking skills by applying the ancient wisdom of halakhah(Jewish law) to some of the most headline-making issues of today.
- Areyvut: Join a group of teens who function as a board to allocate money to support local agencies. Learn about philanthropy and local needs, clarify your values and how to help, host site visits, select causes to fund, volunteer for an agency, and celebrate making a difference!
- Cooking: Learn about the significance of various foods in Jewish tradition, and get hands on experience making delicious recipes!
World Religions Program: (10th graders) With plenty of Jewish education under their belts, they turn their attention to other faiths, visiting houses of worship of Eastern and Western religions most weeks, interspersed with discussion and debrief weeks.
Atid Program: (11th-12th graders) Our oldest teens are ready to start looking at ways to be Jewish after high school. We’ll meet four times throughout the year to explore college and post-college Jewish life, such as visiting Hillel, Moishe House, and discussing issues like antisemitism on campus.
The Core Program (8th-9th graders) meets most Sunday evenings 5:30-7:30pm. Download the calendar.
World Religions Program (10th graders) meets most Sunday mornings. Times vary based on service times. Please note, parents are expected to drive carpool several times during the year. Download the calendar.
Atid Program: (11th-12th graders) meets 4 times during the school year. Dates:
Fri. Nov 15 @ Duke Jewish Life
Fri. Jan 24 @ UNC Hillel
February TBD @ Moishe House
Sun. March 29 @ the J: Antisemitism on Campus
Community Midrasha was adopted in 2017 to be part of the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill family and is housed in the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham, NC. Locations for World Religions and Atid program visits will be provided. MAP IT!
The formula to our success is simple: give teens guided freedom to grow and explore, allowing them the space to really own learning Jewishly. We take fun, creativity, and challenge and add them to Jewish philanthropy, art, culture, and scholarship. We multiply those positive experiences by our pillars of Talmud Torah (study of the Torah), Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), and Am Yisrael (people of Israel) and we get globally relevant, academically-inclined classes that teens of all ages are excited about. With leadership opportunities, special travel and retreats, and field trips as common denominators, Community Midrasha students truly thrive.
Community Midrasha and Teen Program Manager