Midrasha's weekly get-together takes place on Wednesday evenings in Walnut Creek starting at 7:15 pm. During this time, teens come together to learn, explore various topics, discuss Jewish identity and culture, and have an absolute blast! Below, you'll find more details on what we do each Wednesday.
Core Class/First Hour:
The first hour at Contra Costa Midrasha focuses on the CORE class. These classes contain rich, substantive materials designed to engage the teens' brains and hearts, connecting with who they are as Jews and as people. Students are assigned to these classes by grade.
Here is a breakdown of each Core class by grade:
8th Grade: Global Judaism/Community or Edah
CCM’s goals with 8th graders are to bond as a community and to help them think about the broader community of Jews across the globe. The year is split into thirds. The first third is focused on building community amongst and amidst the teens. The second section focuses on differing ideas of identity. The third part, interspersed throughout the year is celebrating Jewish holidays but with a global Jewish lens. At the end of the year, teens can articulate their own Jewish identity and knowledge about Jewish communities across the globe.
9th Grade: Etgar Core Class - Hillel’s Golden Rule
The Etgar (“challenge”) curriculum focuses on aspects of Jewish identity, from self-perception and personal observance to interpersonal relations, communal diversity, and responsibility. In 2021-22 CCM partnered with Franny Silverman of Imani Strategies to rebuild these materials around Hillel’s Golden Rule - starting out with a sense of self, a sense of community, and how to bring those two ideas together to take some action in our community. The main goals of the year are to continue deepening the connections between the teens and broadening their personal sense of self in relation to others.
10th Grade: Kesher Aleph Core Class - Israel
This class continues to build the Jewish teen community that started in 8th and 9th grades. The focus of the curriculum is to understand Israel and each teen’s individual connection to it by studying its people, culture, history, politics, and current social issues. Course material includes Israeli movies, poetry, historical documents, newspaper articles, maps, and other primary sources. Important to this year is having educators with a deep connection with Israel and when possible, an Israeli educator - usually a Shinshin intern through the Jewish Agency. CCM also aims for teens to participate in their Mifgash Israel program.
11th Grade: Core Class - Rodef Shalom
Junior year is known as the hardest year academically for today’s teens. To help teens cope with the stress of that year, CCM offers its “Rodef Shalom” or “Pursuing Peace” curriculum. Created by a former Midrasha educator who is a therapist, these materials aim to teach teens a variety of tools and strategies to create calm and destress themselves. The class creates a weekly sense of peace and connection through meditations, talk therapy, and relevant Jewish texts and ideas.
12th Grade Core Class - Building a Bridge Between High School and College
Seniors often struggle with the transition toward college. Of course, during this time, there is much focus on writing essays and visiting campuses, but Midrasha’s senior year is built for teens to work on the personal challenges they're facing during this transition. For example, how will they build community, take care of themselves, watch their finances, eat Shabbat dinner, and cope with conflict? Each month seniors consider one of these themes and then take a field trip that embodies them. In their last year with CCM, we aim to create a safe space for our teens to imagine how they will live and create their own lives starting in college.
Tea Time and Movies with Veronica
Art with Julia and Rory
Israeli Cooking with Shir
Improv & Games With Brandon
Senior Shmooze/Workshop with Isaac Maier (for SENIORS only) - Gives seniors a chance to ask questions, think about college choices and get a chance to blow off some steam during this challenging year.