Teens & Tweens

The B’nei Mitzvah Journey – To Be a Blessing!

B’NEI MITZVAH JOURNEY is led by Rabbi Riqi Kosovske. This is a lively, joyous, creative peer cohort that meets bimonthly on Thursday evenings from 5:00-6:30 p.m. The group is for students whose B’nei Mitzvah* celebration will be scheduled for some time in the upcoming one-two years.  Vegetarian/vegan pizza dinner is provided by families.  The B’nei Mitzvah Journey involves learning and doing — it is in an exciting time in the development of a young person’s growth and the family and parenting that evolves with them. 

*Beit Ahavah is LGBTQ+/All-gender-inclusive and celebratory.  We use the words Bar/Bat/Bet/B’nei/Brit/+ Mitzvah and will support all teens in choosing or creating the nomenclature that best expresses their Jewish journey.

Being called up to the Torah is an amazing thing, and every person should be excited for that moment when your soul shines!

       *Please REGISTER here.*

B’nei Mitzvah Journey is more than a “class” or a destination  “service.” It includes Jewish group experiential learning including:  

  • Parents engage a B’nei Mitzvah private tutor/mentor to teach reading and leading Hebrew prayers and chanting their Torah portion;
  • Students engage in a holistic family approach with the rabbi to design your service, decide whether it will be traditional or DIY, whether in our beautiful sanctuary or outdoors in the beautiful backyard;
  • Work with Rabbi Riqi in a creative approach to write a unique and meaningful D’var Torah (sermon/speech) about your Torah portion’s relevance today;
  • Develop a Tikkun Olam (repair the world) project combining student’s unique passions with the issues on your mind and heart that “keep you up at night”;
  • Family and student attendance at Shabbat services and holiday celebrations/services;
  • Attend RUACH community school learning through 7th grade;
  • Jewish community and synagogue engagement — lots at Beit Ahavah and wider Valley community;
  • Families are members of the synagogue.  There is no additional fee, of course, for meetings with the rabbi or for reserving or renting our beautiful building that we share with Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity and Florence Congregational Church.  However there is a $250 celebration fee set by the Board that covers additional day-of costs such as custodial staff. 
  • We have a B’nei Mitzvah Coordinator, Megan Zinn, who helps you pick a date for the service (usually a year in advance) and arranges volunteers to usher and support your family with logistics;
  • Participation in Jewish teen and tween programming;
  • Encouragement to go to Jewish summer camp (Rabbi can suggest wonderful options);
  • Our B’nei Mitzvah grads get a $3,250 off certificate for a teen trip to Israel from URJ and Root One!
  • Plus… social and family-friendship fun stuff that lasts well beyond adolescence!  B’nei Mitzvah families arrange Shabbat dinners, Havdalah hangouts, outings and “B’nei Mitz Kibbitz” for parents.  Join us!

Please contact Rabbi Riqi to embark on your child’s B’nei Mitzvah Journey.  

BAFTY Youth Group & Teen Events for Grades 6-7-8 and 9-12

“BAFTY” is Beit Ahavah’s chapter of NFTY Reform Jewish Youth Movement. Read about NFTY-NE regional upcoming events this year here:  https://northeast.nfty.org/.  We hold local events that are open to all teens in the Valley and throughout our western MA region of NFTY.  NFTY Northeast is our region which offers weekend “conventions” and conclavettes hosted at URJ Eisner Camp or at synagogues throughout our region. An advisor or Rabbi Riqi attends regional convention events with each group of teens. 

Teen Info FORM: Please click HERE and fill out this 60-second Teen Information form so we can better stay in touch with teens, tweens and parents about upcoming events at Beit Ahavah, other Jewish teen events in the Valley and NFTY-Northeast.

Contact Rabbi Riqi for information on being part of teen events!

Hanhalah (הַנְהָלָה)

Hanhalah = Teen Leadership Team.  Hanhalah is our new group of teens who step up/step in to be managers and brainstormers of teen program ideas, creative events, social justice projects, fun, and things for teens.  They sometimes meet at Balagan Cafe or other places to plan and dream up teen programs, social justice topics, trips, issues important to teens or just to have fun together.  This looks great on high school transcripts for that Common App!  Contact BAFTY at beitahavah@gmail.com to inquire or step in.

Madrichimot (מַדְרִיכִים) – Hadrachah

Madrichimot = Teen Teaching Assistants/Teen Leaders (sing. Madrich, Madrichah, Madricheh).  Madrichimot comes from the word “derech” – “to guide someone on their road.” These are paid or voluntary positions. By the way, the word “Madrichimot” is LGBTQ+/All-Gender-inclusive Hebrew. This looks great on high school transcripts for that Common App!

Current Madrichimot: TBD

The Madrichimot Program is built for teens who have become B’nei Mitzvah (over 13) and are looking to continue their Jewish journey as youth leaders in RUACH, Hebrew Havurah, Tot Shabbat, teach electives, and additional programs.  Madrichimot are students in 8-12th grade and must be involved with our Teen program. Madrichimot serve as role models, teaching assistants and guides to younger students in K-7 and young families.  Madrichimot are nurtured and coached by Staff to develop teaching and leadership skills while strengthening Jewish identity. Many Madrichimot have gone on to other leadership roles, leading or teaching a class on their own while in high school, becoming a camp counselor, or other teaching and counseling professions.  Madrichimot arrive early with teachers for set up and clean up.  

Generous support by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation Teen grant and Anonymous Family Teen Donation.