Year Round Programs Teens Complete Bechirot – Four Part Virtual Series

By Young Judaea

Recently, Young Judaea Year-Round finished up Bechirot – a four-part virtual series where teens chose one of four topics to discuss with their peers and leading experts.

The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) led an important discussion of Antisemitism and how it manifests itself today – in the United States and globally. The Bechira in this track took a deep dive into the origins of Antisemitism and its connection and distinction from Anti-Zionism. The ADL encouraged the group to become the catalysts for change and challenge Antisemitism whenever it is seen.


Challenges of Antisemitism Today

“The experience was interactive and educational without being difficult to understand or follow. I was able to take away a lot of tools and information that are useful in combating Antisemitism.” -Bechirot Participant

Be’chol Lashon led a fascinating workshop on Racial and Cultural Diversity of Jewish Identity and Experience. Participants learned about the ethnic and racial diversity of the global Jewish community and discussed how to create more inclusive spaces for all Jews within Young Judaea and their local communities.

Racial and Cultural Diversity of Jewish Identity and Experience

“I learned a lot about diversity in the Jewish community. And I will take my knowledge and what I have learned from the leader and my peers with me.” -Bechirot Participant

“I’m taking away, not only learning more about racial justice, but also learning ways that I can be a better advocate.” -Bechirot Participant

In Issues of Sex, Sexuality, and Gender in Jewish Communities led by Moving Traditions, participants had the opportunity to learn with leaders from a team of rabbis, social workers, and sex education specialists who brought Jewish wisdom into conversation with topics such as peer pressure, friendship, popularity, desire, love, relationships, consent, sex and sexuality. Questions asked included: “How does a person know who they are and what risks do they want to take?”, “What does it mean to resist pressure?” “When do you choose to ‘fit in’ and why?”

Issues of Sex, Sexuality, and Gender in Jewish Communities

“I’ve been attending the Bechirot seminars on Sex and Sexuality where we’ve talked about gender norms, thinking beyond the binary, and the significance of touch in our society. I’ve learned so many things like the ways in which men and women act differently, what it means to be non-binary, how gender can be expressed, and how important touch is in connecting with people. These sessions and conversations have been so great and always leave me thinking and wanting more, and I always get something out of them. Would highly recommend!” -Bechirot Participant

“I really enjoyed working with the Tel Yehudah teens. They were smart, engaged, and eager to delve into the issues we explored together. It was a pleasure to learn from their experiences and to help them make sense of and build their knowledge around issues of gender in their lives and at camp.” -Bechirot Contractor

“I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with the TY teens. I had 4 from various points throughout the US.  They were engaged and gave insight into risk taking in their peer group and what they felt was the norm in their community – especially as it related to Covid. Thanks for allowing me to be part of this.” -Bechirot Contractor

In the Israeli Culture: TV/ Film, Food, Music and Language track, each session was led by a different expert in their field including Israeli screenwriter, cinema lecturer, and YJ alum, Galit Roichman, who gave a glimpse into modern Israel through television. Israel’s leading culinary tourism provider, Delicious Israel, talked about all things Israeli food. Bechira even got to rock out with Grammy award-winning record producer and YJ alum, Steve Greenberg for a lesson on Israeli pop music!

Israeli Culture: TV/Film, Food, Music, Language

“In the second session, our facilitator shared a “story:” when she visited England, she would take the train. There, if you wanted to avoid conversation, all you had to do was read a newspaper. However, in Israel, everyone is more like a family, and a newspaper actually becomes an invitation for others to talk to you.” – Bechirot Participant

“One of our last stops was a popular bakery with legendary rugelach. After seeing lots of pictures, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it ever since! I hope to be able to try some of this highly recommended rugelach this Summer during my trip to Israel with the Gesher program!” – Bechirot Participant


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