Submission #208 by Shomrei Torah Men's Club - West Hills, CA (1058)

Submission information
Submitted by stsmensclub
Wed, 2013-03-06 02:03
I have read the General Guidelines, "Nuts and Bolts" and Program Advanced Planning (Excel Spreadsheet) Documents
Club Name
Shomrei Torah Men's Club - West Hills, CA (1058)
7TH Grade Religious School Tefillin Initiative
Club Representative
Person completing form
Club President at time of Convention
Club President Now
Youth Programming

Page 1

Incorporate the Sunday Minyan into the Religious School curriculum for all 7th grade students, with the goal that they would be more comfortable and participate in the service. Every 7th Grader in our Hebrew School was presented with his or her own set of Tefillin at no cost to their family, thanks to funding provided by some generous donors. By the end of the school year all the students were comfortable laying tefillin, more proficient in the service and the “stigma” of wearing tefillin was no longer an issue.
1: This program was developed when one of our Men’s Club members, a regular at the Sunday minyan suggested that the 7th Grade students should participate. 2: With the financial help of donor families we were able to purchase tefillin sets for all the students. 3:The students participated and learned more about the minyan and the art of laying tefillin. 4: Our Men’s Club has a presence and this program has been well received. 5:The program is now in its second year and we anticipate that it will continue for years to come!

Looking back it is clear that this successful program would not be where it is at this time without the involvement and dedication of our two Rabbis. Our Hebrew Schools curriculum was changed to allow for the incorporation of this new initiative. Both of our Rabbis teach one class each at our Hebrew School, primarily focusing on Jewish Life, this is a mere extension of their teachings. Our Rabbis and Educational director are 100% committed to this program! Every 7th grader participates in the program. Should a student (girl) decide not to wear tefillin, this is not an issue, however she must still participate in the minyan. The students is not frowned upon. The STS Hebrew School does focus on teaching our students prayer and to get comfortable with the Siddur, we want our students to be in a position to walk into a synagogue and feel comfortable around prayer.

The kids start the school year knowing very little about tefillin and the morning service. By the end of the school year, the students were familiar with the service and comfortable laying tefillin with their peers. If you are fortunate to have students that are willing to learn to lead services, this is an added bonus. Many of our students attend Jewish summer camps; now they will take their new knowledge and share with their fellow campers their comfort in laying tefillin.

This is a Men’s Club sponsored event. As a perfect complement to an FJMC signature event, an unprecedented 125 attendees including 28 7th graders and their parents participated in World Wide Wrap 2012. The 2nd year of the program is in full swing with a smaller class this year and again we had a
terrific turnout for World Wide Wrap 2013. Our membership continues to interact with the parents of these students and we are hopeful that they will see the “good” that the club brings to our community.

Page 2

Self Assessment
Parents participate in this program. I can assure you that most parents will participate, especially when their child puts on their tefillin for the very first time. Most of these younger parents are not involved in either the Men’s Club or in Sisterhood. We now have the perfect opportunity to “schmooze” with them over breakfast in a very relaxed setting. Bear in mind this is not a one off, we see these parents every month. The result – some of the parents have participated in some of the club events and now they are no longer strangers to us.

We do not encourage every club member to participate as we need men that are:
1: Comfortable teach the students and their parent put on tefillin.
2: Guys that can schmooze and explain the value that the club brings top our community.
3: Willing to prepare breakfast.

Lastly we also encourage our regular minyonaires to get involved.
The STS Men's Club with this wonderful program has the ability to educate members of our club alongside the 7th graders, their parents and the community at large. We set an example. We do not need followers, we only ask that you participate, get involved and keep our traditions alive.
Possibly one of the most rewarding programs to come from within our club.
Leadership, involvement, commitment to our shul, our club and Judasim!
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