Upper School (Grs 8-12)

We view Bar/Bat Mitzvah one important milestone on a lifelong Jewish journey.  Because of that, we are very proud of our high retention rate of post-b’nei mitzvah students.

Temple Beth-El has lots of options for teen learning and engagement:

On Sunday mornings as part of the Rabbi Leslie Yale Gutterman Religious School, we offer:

Grade 8 – My Place in the Community
What is our role in the larger community both Jewish and secular.  A student driven class that will reflect their interests including but not limited to leadership, philanthropy and navigating the world around them.

Grade 9 – Ethical Dilemmas & Current Events
This in-depth class includes debate, study and explores insights into a host of Hot Topics.  Through Jewish values, the class navigates issues relating to digital, medical, social and ethical issues.  This course will allow the students to delve into meaningful discussions that will help them form their own opinions.

Grade 10 – Confirmation
An ideal setting for students to explore their Judaism together with Rabbi Howard. Confirmation is a great setting for sophomore students to explore the relevance and importance of enduring topics related to Jewish identity such as God, Torah, Israel & more.

Grades 11 & 12 – Madrichim Program
Our oldest students help the Ed Team and faculty both in and out of the classroom with activities, leading small groups, taking attendance, helping with hands on learning projects, working with students who may need extra attention and most importantly, serving as a Jewish role model for our kids!


In addition to our offerings at RLYGRS, students can choose to participate in:

Moving Traditions (Grades 8 & 9) 
We are partnering with this organization that promotes self-discovery, challenges traditional gender roles, and celebrates a diversity of voices to enable teens to grow in to healthy, connected Jewish adults.  8th & 9th Grade students can choose to meet monthly with trained adult facilitators to experience the signature programs, “Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing” and “Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood” which will provide a space for them to feel safe, articulate concerns, consider the impact of gender on their daily life, have fun and be honest with their peers.

PROVTY (Grades 8-12)
Temple Beth-El’s High School Youth Group, led by teens for teens in Grades 8-12 provides a venue for Jewish teens to meet and develop friendships in a Jewish setting.  This is accomplished with many local events – shul-ins, scavenger hunts, running the Purim Carnival, monthly Shabbat dinners and services and much more.

NFTY Northeast (Grades 9-12) 
NFTY is a movement that builds strong, welcoming, inspired communities through teen-powered engagement. Together, we pursue tikkun olam, personal growth, youth empowerment, and deep connections, all rooted in Reform Judaism. NFTY’s Northeast Region includes Connecticut (excluding Fairfield County), Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, upstate New York and Montreal, Canada.  

Click here for the 2018-19 NFTY Northeast Calendar of Events

*WE ARE HOSTING NFTY Northeast Spring Conclavette – March 29-31, 2019*
We are thrilled to be hosting the 2019 NFTY Northeast Spring Conclavette (SPRONC) when approximately 300 teens from across New England will join us for a weekend of learning, worship and fun!

Etgar 36 – February 7-10, 2019 (Grades 9-12)
A unique trip to learn about how Jews were involved in Civil Rights movement. The journey includes Atlanta, Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham. Visits include the Rosa Parks Museum, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, Ebenezer Church, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Equal Justice Initiative, Freedom Park & Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.