Children at Temple Emeth have the opportunity to socialize with their peers, both at the temple and at other synagogues. We cultivate a camp-like atmosphere, where Temple Emeth will be regarded as a “home away from home," a place where seekers of all ages pursue Torah, Avodah (prayer), and Gemilut Hasadim (acts of kindness). The goal is a unique journey for each young person, whether an exploration of Jewish meditation, a search for peers of similar interest and temperament, or a trip to Israel. Participation is extracurricular and voluntary.
Adult Madrichim (advisors) provide mentorship and bring passion, accountability and excitement. The youth program at Temple Emeth involves a seamless mixture of Jewish learning for living, organic building of friendship, and integration of Judaism with all the media available for human communication: visual art, film, music, dance, nature, theatre, discussion, athletics, and more.
Our youth groups are affiliated with United Synagogue Youth, and we are a member of its New England Region (NERUSY). Temple Emeth’s USY program has twice received NERUSY’s “Chapter of Excellence” award. Youth groups are organized by age:
- Kadima: Grades 4 and 5
- Junior USY: Grades 6 through 8
- Senior USY: Grades 9 through 12
Monthly outings are an important feature, and have included all grades excursions to Six Flags New England, Lars Anderson Park for ice skating and cocoa, and Fenway Park for a rousing Red Sox game. The Senior USYers (who have their own officers) have dined at a kosher restaurant, followed by a movie, and tried speed dating with peers at nearby synagogues. The “Emeth Jam,” an evening of local bands and a cappella music, is a favorite.
In addition to social activities, our youth participate in ritual and educational programs. The “Minyan Mentors” program pairs Junior USYers with adult daveners for three Sundays in the spring. Together, they share prayer, breakfast, a nature walk and conversation. Not only does the students’ presence elevate the spirits of our Minyanaires, it also teaches our youth accountability, and reveals their remarkable camaraderie, devotion, wisdom and humor. Senior USYers have the opportunity to officiate at holiday celebrations, interact with residents of Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, and attend minyan.