Once our students enter 8th grade, they transition to N’siyah, our Teen program. N’siyah encompasses all of our Teen programming—both educational and more social programs.
N’siyah is designed to allow our Teens to pick their own Jewish journeys while developing leadership skills and enhancing their Jewish knowledge. Our 8th-10th grade students complete a 3 year cycle of Jewish learning and experiences around New York City to give them a more sophisticated understanding of Judaism. The three areas of focus are Jewish History and Culture, Jewish Values, and Jews & the Greater Community. Each year, students can choose to participate in our monthly Wednesday learning, focusing on a more academic and discussion-based understanding of the topic, our monthly Saturday learning (guest speakers and discussions, hosted by Rabbis Ain and Dave), and/or our experiential fieldtrips, in which we connect our learning to museum, performances, and events happening around the city. All Teens, 8th-12th grades, are invited to join us for the field trips!
Our oldest Teens, in 11th and 12th grades, have seminars on a two year cycle to prepare them for encountering the college Jewish world. In one year of the cycle, our Teens will explore Israel in a more sophisticated manner. Topics will include Israeli history, the current events and situation in Israel, Israeli relations with the US and Iran, exploring and understanding BDS and the Occupation, and Birthright and other opportunities to visit Israel. In the second year of the cycle, our students will have a “Jewish college prep” curriculum designed to help them navigate college Jewish life. Topics include identifying what being Jewish in college can mean, available resources, how to learn more about Jewish life when visiting and applying to colleges, factors to consider, ways to observe Judaism in college, etc. Each of these seminars will meet approximately 5 times over the year, on Wednesdays.
Our high school-aged Teens (9th-12th grades) are also invited to join our Madrich Track as classroom assistants in the Jackson Religious School. This is a wonderful way to earn community service hours, build community, get experience working with children (great for applying to camp or teaching jobs!), and to pass on their love of Judaism and SPS. If service hours are not necessary, compensation can be arranged.
Finally, all Teens (8th-12th grade) are eligible to apply for our Advisory Council! The Advisory Council will work with the youth advisor to plan social events, build community, and recruit friends to join them for events. Advisory Council members will have opportunities to hone leadership skills as they work collaboratively to plan events for their peers.
In addition to being on the Advisory Council, all Teens in 8th-12th grades are invited to participate as volunteers for our Purim Carnival, performers in our Purim Shpiel, readers for Simchat Torah or Purim, leaders for Teen Shabbat, and to have roles in our annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) commemorations.
- Wednesdays, monthly, 7-8:30 pm
- Saturdays, monthly, 4-5:30 pm
- Field trips/projects: approximately 5 times per year, generally on Sundays
- Madrich track: follows JRS schedule; Wednesdays 4-6 pm