Haverim is BJ’s 7th-grade program for, which integrates students in secular schools and Jewish day schools. Haverim provides a platform for 7th graders to bond as a cohort and to explore Jewish history, topics that impact all teenagers, and what it means to become a B-Mitzvah at BJ, regardless of background.

New Haverim Model:

We are excited to share that we have revised our program for all families with 7th graders to better focus on the definition of the Hebrew word Haverim, “friends.” By centering the program around the building of community in 7th grade, students will feel more connected to the B’nai Jeshurun community, the B-Mitzvah process, and their peers.

The program will be broken into three units:
  • Becoming a B-Mitzvah: We’ll focus on helping your pre-teen explore the social-emotional challenges and joys associated with becoming a B-Mitzvah. We hope that these educational sessions will enrich your child’s experience, marking the B-Mitzvah as a life cycle transition into “becoming an adult” that leads to personal growth and positive communal connection.
  • Teen Talk: With the stress and pressures of teen life, we want to support your child in their growth. We will be piloting a program where students will work in small groups with a full-time Family Life & Learning staff member to build community and work through the daily stressors of becoming a teen. The lessons and curriculum will be written by Adina Golob, a clinical social worker and a member of the Family Life and Learning team. 
  • Stories of the Shoah: Our last unit, entitled “Holocaust and Human Behavior,” will focus on facing history and ourselves. We will address the “why” and “how” of the Holocaust, and we will try to understand an entire society of human beings that ended up as active participants in genocide. This unit is designed to build connections from what we learn to our own lives and society today. We hope to end this trimester by visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Trip to Washington, D.C.

This annual trip to Washington, D.C., provides an opportunity for our 7th-grade students to further their learning about the Holocaust while getting to bond with their peers and connect to the BJ community outside of the classroom. We visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, tour monuments, celebrate Shabbat in a new way, and have reflection and learning sessions based upon our experiences. 

For questions about Haverim, please contact Rachel Barnehama, assistant director of Family Life and Learning.