When we reach the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah or above we gain adult privileges and responsibilities within the Jewish community. It is also a moment of transition when emerging young adults can explore and develop Jewish identity in both personal and communal terms.
Our dynamic experience will help students build their knowledge of and relationship to Judaism and empower them to carry out the Mitzvot. This is a safe and encouraging environment where we discuss moral and ethical issues that face us each day. Importantly, Ruach helps create lasting links with peers and community.
All children having a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Alyth are required to attend the Ruach Programme.
The Ruach Programme is delivered by the Youth and Education Hub, Rabbis and other Alyth professionals. Classes are supported by additional teaching staff and by trained madrichim (leaders). We require all staff to hold a valid DBS and to attend regular training programmes during the course of the year. They receive regular feedback and are supported by the professional Galim Team. Our 14-18 year old madrichim are trained on Alyth’s Hadracha (leadership) programme with the majority undertaking further training with RSY-Nezter during years 11 and 12.
Ruach Erev Shabbat (Fridays)
Each Friday before classes begin, we invite your child to join us at Drop-in – a warm, welcoming and fun environment for all students and mentors. Drop-in is a social space where you will find activities including table tennis, pool, board games and friendship bracelet making! We also have a tuck shop that sells a range of snacks and refreshments.
Ruach 1-3 (17:15-19:20)
Ruach Erev Shabbat is aimed at ‘the emerging Jewish adult’ and explores each child’s personal, developing relationship with Judaism. A strand that runs through Ruach is the taking of key Jewish topics and issues and exploring what relevance these have to the students and their B’nei Mitzvah. Our goal is to develop and nurture all of our children’s Jewish journeys, empowering them to create their own unique role within the Jewish community. During these three terms we explore Ethics and Social Justice, Shabbat and Prayer, The Jewish Journey.
Ruach 4 – Mentoring Programme (17:15-19:20)
In the final section of the Ruach journey, in the lead up to the ceremony, each child will be paired with a mentor. The mentor, a recent Bar or Bat Mitzvah, is there to inspire confidence, develop familiarity with the rituals and customs of the ceremony and to support the writing of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah prayer— a personal prayer relating to the transition from Jewish child to Jewish adult.
Ruach 4 students also work together as a group through a series of special focus sessions that reinforce the above.
The Friday Night Service (18:30-19:25) follows on directly after sessions and is a compulsory part of the Alyth B’nei Mitzvah experience. Amongst other benefits, attendance helps grow children’s familiarity and knowledge of the Shabbat services as well as building their relationship with the Alyth community. We have noted that B’nei Mitzvah students whose parents also attend the service tend to benefit more from the service.
These are weekly individual lessons where the Bar or Bat Mitzvah student learns his or her Torah portion and any other prayers they may be leading in the service. These lessons start approximately 6 months before the ceremony; you will be sent a letter inviting your child to the first lesson.
For more information email Lynette
Leyning is the Yiddish word for reading but has come to be exclusively associated with singing from the Torah scrolls. Here at Alyth we can teach chilren to interpret the negginot or accents found in the Chumash and thus learn to sing their B’nei Mitzvah portions.
For more information Viv
Ruach Residentials and Trips
Making friends is a central part of the Alyth B’nei Mitzvah experience. In years 6 and 7 we run a series of Ruach Residential Weekends that help foster a cohesive year group that will accompany children throughout their teenage years. These weekends take place at a dedicated activity site where children experience a communal Shabbat, dynamic games and activities, group prayer and Jewish learning.
Everyone becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah is expected to attend this part of the programme.
Building on the experiences of the Ruach Residential Weekends, in Year 8 we run a B’nei Mitzvah trip abroad. In the past, we took our students to Barcelona, and on this trip the group encountered and learned about the Jewish community, culture and people of Spain.
The trip usually takes place in the October half term; however we keep a close eye on B’nei Mitzvah dates for each year group to ensure that as many people as possible can come on the trip.
This year’s residential is 17-19 March 2017.
For more information please email Sam.