The purpose of"New Ideas" is to highlight some of the successful programs that are happening at our congregations around the country, so that we can replicate these great programs at our own congregations! We hope to see this section grow and expand with your new ideas! Please contact Andrea Rubinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas you would like to share!
This is a great way to showcase all that your congregation's children and youth program has to offer!
The Youth Service is a once per month Shabbat Service where the children of the congregation primarily lead the liturgy and the scripture readings. The monthly youth service provides a valuable opportunity for Hebrew school students to develop an appreciation for the structure of our worship service and to put into practice what they are learning in Hebrew school.
By leading parts of worship, they gain skills in reading Hebrew, understanding the prayers that they have studied and in general, being comfortable in front of groups of people. Since our worship isn't only for the adults, leading worship provides an opportunity for our children to see that they also have a role to play in worshiping the L-rd and makes room to deepen their relationship with Him.
These services are part of our overall aim to inculcate our Messianic Jewish culture into the next generation and inspire our youth to consider other ways in which to serve in the congregation. It is our aspiration to see the children lead as much of the worship on these weeks as possible, including music and Torah readings in order to provide a rich experience that will result in positive memories for their entire lives.
Below is sample of what a typical Youth Service looks like:
Child’s Name will lead Matovu.
Child’s Name will lead the Shema.
Child’s Name will lead the Amidah.
Child’s Name will lead Sim Shalom.
Child’s Name and Child’s name will open and close the Ark.
Child’s Name will do the Aliyah.
Child’s Name will read the Torah portion.
Child’s Name will read Haftarah portion.
Child’s Name will read B'rit Chadashah.
Child’s Name will lead the Mourner's Kaddish.
Child’s Name will lead Adon Olam.
Also, as part of the Youth Service, all children involved walk around in the Torah procession and then go up and stand around the bima for the Torah service.
A great way for the rabbi to interact in a casual but meaningful way with youth is, "Lunch with the Rabbi." On a designated Shabbat, during the time of the kiddush/luncheon after the Shabbat service, the teens and middle schoolers meet together with the rabbi over lunch. The rabbi facilitates the conversation by asking questions of the kids about anything - current events, movies, an accomplishment of one of the kids or something else that the youth might find interesting. Then the rabbi steers the conversation to a discussion about a topic related to belief and practice. The take away is that the rabbi gets to know the youth better and the youth build a level of trust and relationship where they feel comfortable approaching the rabbi with questions. This is an easy activity that can be scheduled a few times a year to keep communication open and increase connectedness between the youth and the rabbi within the congregation.
Rabbi Howard Silverman
Beth Messiah Congregation