Every person journeys from day to day, seeking out meaning and connection, hopefully within community. Shaaray Tefila celebrates and supports your family’s decision to lead your child on a Jewish path, welcoming them into a life of Torah from the moment they enter our gates.
In his last speech to the children of Israel, Moses said, “May my teaching drip as the rain, My words flow as the dew, Like showers on young growth, Like droplets on the grass. (Deuteronomy 32:2).” Our goal at Temple Shaaray Tefila is to offer Torah as water to soil, nourishing the minds and souls of our community’s children. Like seeds, they will sprout and flourish in their own time, in their own way, and we will always do our best to support their unique perspectives and individual needs as they learn, question and live the teachings of Torah.
At the age of thirteen, your child has the opportunity to become B’nei Mitzvah. With a strong foundation of Jewish education and emerging maturity, they will explore the lush garden that is the combined tradition of Torah throughout the generations, and consider their own role in adding to its beauty. They will know the excitement of exploring the mysteries of texts both ancient and modern, protecting the world we inhabit through tikkun olam, upholding our ethical principles by treating ourselves and others with dignity, and fulfilling the prophetic call to strive for justice and peace.
Becoming B’nei Mitzvah is not the end of the journey, rather it is a stage of new growth. In coming to this moment, our students declare that, rooted in their heritage, they are ready to extend their branches in ways they never have before. As they emerge into young adulthood, we are blessed to be their teachers and become their students.
The process of developing Jewish identity begins long before Jews become B’nei Mitzvah and continues for a lifetime. Temple Shaaray Tefila appreciates that you share this value of l’dor vador, “generation to generation,” and is eager to support you in launching your child on this lifelong journey.
Engaging with peers in a learning community is fundamental for children to develop their individual and communal Jewish identities, before and following the moment of becoming B’nei Mitzvah.