B’nai TELEM is a service-learning program for b’nai mitzvah youth, typically in grades six and seven. Participants are introduced to social justice issues with learning and reflection sessions that encourage participants to think critically about social justice issues through a Jewish lens. The B’nai TELEM program is centered on community service experiences in a variety of non-profit settings that introduce participants to the TELEM program service tracks: Connecting Generations; Environmental Sustainability; Literacy; Poverty – Hunger and Homelessness; Special Needs. B’nai TELEM groups generally meet during regular Hebrew School hours though service experiences may take place at different times.
- To make meaningful service-learning possible for all Jewish teens in Greater Boston.
- To help Jewish teens develop a lifelong interest in volunteering that is a fundamental part of their Jewish identity.
- Through the TELEM peer group experience, to develop a deeper connection to their Jewish community and peers.
- To assist our service partners in reaching their goals and fulfilling their missions.
Additional Goals of B’nai TELEM
- To add a meaningful service experience to the B’nai Mitzvah process in the context of a participant’s peer group.
- To encourage the development of an ‘ethic of responsibility’ towards others.
- To lay the ground work for a TELEM sustained service experience and provide a gateway to a lifelong commitment to volunteerism.
Congregations with B’nai TELEM Programs
- Congregation Agudath Achim, Taunton
- Temple Aliyah, Needham
- Temple Beth Am, Framingham
- Temple Beth David, Westwood
- Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley
- Temple Beth Shalom, Needham
- Temple Chayai Shalom, Easton
- Temple Isaiah, Lexington
- Temple Israel, Natick
- Temple Shir Tikvah, Winchester