Devra C. Aarons, Executive Director
Eva Santelli, Bookkeeper
Board of Directors:
Scott Korney, President
Leslie Fisher, Vice President
Randall Gross, Treasurer
Sarah Romov, Secretary
Anna Bethlahmy, Federation Fellow
Clea Hansen, Student Representative
Beth Chaim Congregation
Congregation B’nai Shalom
Congregation B’nai Tikvah
Jewish Community Federation & Foundation
Contra Costa Jewish Community Center
Brenden Mann Foundation
Contra Costa Midrasha is THE place to be on Wednesday nights for Jewish teens to cut loose, relax, hang-out with friends, learn new things and make a difference in a Jewish environment. CCM is a supplementary program for Jewish teens, grades 8-12, in Contra Costa County, meeting weekly in Walnut Creek, CA. Retreat weekends are also a key component to the Midrasha program, occurring 3 times per year. This year our retreats will happen at Camp Loma Mar in Pescadero and Camp Arroyo in Livermore.
CCM two other key programs aim to engage Jewish teens in Judaism. Our Hamsa Fund empowers teens to "be the change they want to see" through building a Foundation. It meets once a month on Sunday evenings. Our Mifgash program is a cultural exchange between our Jewish-American teens and Israeli teens from the Mozenson High School in Hod HaSharon, Israel. Israeli teens come to the SF Bay Area in June for a 10-day bus adventure with our teens. In the Winter, CCM teens go to Israel for a 9-day home-hosted tour with Israeli teens.
Contra Costa Midrasha's (CCM) mission is to form and inform a pluralistic Jewish teen community (grades 8-12) and to develop and enhance personal Jewish identity for each member of this community. CCM aims to develop the habits of lifelong Jewish learning, practice and communal participation and to engage its teens with Israel through cultural exchange and education. CCM provides an educational and social environment and an interdenominational community for teens.
Location and Time:
Contra Costa Midrasha meets most Wednesday nights during the school year from 7:15 PM - 9:15 PM at Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Walnut Creek. Please see the calendar for any additional information on holidays, class or location changes at partnering synagogues.
Who will you find at Midrasha?
8th - 12th-grade teens
Amazing friends who will change your life
Dynamic, hip, energetic and knowledgeable educators
All kinds of Jews! Reform, Renewal, Orthodox, Conservative, Atheist, Questioning, Cultural, Rebelling, Humanist Jews and new ones we'll define together!
Our program is guided by 5 basic principles:
CONNECTION: teens today crave deeper engagement. Contra Costa Midrasha is the place where teens find connections into themselves, to other Jewish teens and to their own Jewish identity.
FRIENDSHIP is the cornerstone of teen life. Contra Costa Midrasha builds, grows and strengthens friendships. This is the place where our teens learn to be better friends to each other and to themselves.
CULTIVATING PEACE: teenage life is stressful. Contra Costa Midrasha is a haven from that stress. Students unwind and get support from their teachers and friends here, sometimes through yoga, meditation, film and/or cooking.
TEACHERS: today's teens need a variety of positive adult role models. Contra Costa Midrasha's educators serve that role, providing opportunities for teens to grapple with important ethical and spiritual issues, through a Jewish lens and on a level that is relevant to teens' lives today.
BIG JEWISH IDEAS give a framework to enable teens to make smarter decisions. Contra Costa Midrasha emphasizes concepts such as Tikkun Olam (healing the world), gemilut hasidim (acts of loving-kindness), and tzedakah (justice) - all taught through a variety of methods like discussion, art, music and more.