Tichon: The Teen Institute at TBAY

After a long stretch of High Holy Days, TBAY’s Tichon, or Teen Institute, for 8th - 12th-grade students finally reconvened with much excitement...and pizza!

Before our lengthy break, we got to know each other better with a kick-off BBQ in the Temple’s courtyard, where we introduced ourselves to the group, shared some of our favorite pastimes, and played Human Bingo to learn even more about one another’s lives. We also had a delicious night of Israeli cooking activities with Kadima, during which teams of students made either a fresh Israeli salad or the hot tomato-based dish shakshukah.

Right before the holidays, we launched our semester-long endeavor:  The 613 - An Original Tichon Project about the Torah’s Mitzvot. Inspired by artist Archie Rand’s illustrated book The 613, students chose mitzvahs that they have been researching with our help, and started working either individually or in small groups to compose creative presentations based on their selected mitzvot. While they’ve only just re-immersed themselves in the research and composition stages of this project, we’re already beginning to see original work take shape, such as screenplays, graphic novels, documentary films, newspaper articles, and even the structure of an interactive class-wide debate.

Such project-based learning is an excellent way to allow our students to explore the Jewish ideas that most pique their interest. It also encourages them to express their individuality while they root themselves in our community’s traditions and values, as well as share their newly acquired wisdom and deepened understandings with their peers. We look forward to guiding our learners through the rest of this process and can’t wait to see the final products that our creative students will present.  

Elisheva Gould




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