This material, although created for experiential/informal settings of USY and Kadima, can be used within a congregational school environment as well. To see additional ideas for Congregational school-youth group collaboration click here. Please note that some of this material may appear out of date and may need to be revised, however content is still useful and relevant.
These programs differ slightly from what you will find on the program bank page. Most sessions use experiential learning techniques and are best used for:
- USY Sicha/Limud/Kitah
- Hebrew High and Congregational School settings
- Camp programs such as Encampment
- Summer Programs education sessions
Scroll down to find sessions divided by topic.
Teaching Techniques and Resources
Recommended: please order a copy of USY’s “Love Your Neighbor, Love Yourself: Building Healthy Relationships,” for an entire chapter on B’tzelem Elohim, covering topics such as body image, self esteem, tzinut and sexuality. Sample pages can be viewed here.
USY has published an enitre sourcebook on mitzvot relating to community responibility, including a chapter dedicated to Pidyon Shvuyim which includes activities on the topic. To order a copy of Tzarchei Tzibur: Community Repsonsibility, visit USCJ Book Service (look for a yellow coverd book).
*Check out the 2011 USY publication “Mah Gadlu Ma’asekha: Judaism and the Environment” available through USCJ Book Service. Complimentary lesson plans are available with book purchase by contacting Amy Dorsch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
*For online Israel Education sites, click on USY’s Jewish Resources page and scroll down to “Israel.”
The following 5 programs are a joint collaboration between MERCAZ, the Zionist organization of the Conservative Movement and USY. Programs were prepared by Naomi Freedman, Shlichat Aliyah for the Conservative Movement and Amy Dorsch, former USY Education Coordinator.
For lessons on Pidyon Shvuyim or redeeming Israel’s captive soldiers, please see the Derech Eretz or ethics section above.
Social Justice, Tzedakah and Tikun Olam
Sample Pages for Tzedakah: A Time for Change, USY Sourcebook, created by Danny Siegel and available for purchase through USCJ Book Service
Danny Siegel Miztzvah Materials for USY:
Please refer to the Creative Tefillah page for additional creative service ideas.
- We Put the “gal” in Egalitarian: Gender and Jewish observance
- Tough Questions/Problems with Prayer– uses stories to address 5 challenges to prayer including why we pray in a language we may not understand and to whom are we praying?
- *New* Torah Teasers– Creative ways to teach teh weekly Torah portion, courtesy of the JYDA 2015 Convention participants
- Service of the Heart – Tefillah concepts– created by Rabbi Josh Rabin for USY
- Service outlines/Matbe’ah Tefillah – Assembled by Judah Kerbel
- Bringing Tefillah to Life– A walkthrough curriculum of the siddur and prayer srevice
- Creative Tefillah Guide – Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv
- Creative Tefillah Guide – Shabbat Shacharit
- Creative Tefillah Guide – Shabbat Mincha
- Creative Tefillah Guide – Shabbat Maariv and Havdalah
- I Am My Prayer – Courtesy of the Rakevet Division of METNY Region
- Learner’s Minyan
- Body Language and Movement in Tefillah
- Art projects to enhance your Tefillah – Courtesy of Hagalil Region
- God in Prayer
- Using Multiple Intelligences in Tefillah
- So You Think You Can Daven Tefillah Competition – Courtesy of Seaboard Region
- Making Meaning of the Kabbalat Shabbat Service
- Tefillin Barbie: Females and Tefillin – Encourage more of your female students to observe the mitzvah of Tefillin with this girls-only program.
- Tefillin Instructions
- Trienial Torah Cycle
- Sedra Scenes-Have your students create a short play about the weekly parsha. Here are some from Hanegev USYers: Chayei Sarah, KiTisa, KiTavo, Beshalach, Tzav, Vayakel-Pekudai, Pekudai, Vaera, Tetzaveh, Vayikrah, Tazria-Metzora, Shemini
- IC 2012 theology– use with Keepin the Faith and God on Trial Bifolds
- Is God Unfair?– Compiled by Rabbi Ron Isaacs
- An Interview with God
- Is God Punishing Us (Why is there evil in the world?)
- 3 sessions on Theology – part of the USY on Wheels 2008 curriculum, includes Conservative perspectives on God
- Visual images of God – to be used with the above unit “3 sessions on Theology”
- Faith (Emunah)– Courtesy of Seaboard USY
- Are You There God?– Courtesy of Hagalil USY
- Why Bad Things Happen to Good People– arguments to support and contradict Harold’s Kushner’s theories
- Children’s Letters to God– based on the book edited by Stuart Hample and Eric Marshall , an excellent, lighter way to begin a deep, complicated conversation.
- Willing, Learning, Striving– a Conservative Jewish curriculum on Faith and Theology
- Faith interview and God Beliefs Questionaire – Courtesy of USY Publication “Higher and Higher: Making Jewish Prayer Part of Us”
- Gender Based Images of God– reccommended use with Names of God from Higher and Higher: Making Jewish Prayer Part of Us
- God Beliefs– diversity of God Beliefs, different perspectives on God
- God and Holiness
- God and Holiness– Lesson plans to be used with the USY Esa Einai sourcebook, by Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin (Available here)
- Oh God! Script excerpts– scenes from the classic George Burns film “Oh God” (Available on DVD via Amazon), an excellent Shabbat-frinedly tool to use to discuss conversations with God, belief in God.
- Perspectives on Revelation– cross denominational perspectives on Revelation- courtesy of USY Publication “Conservative Judaism: Our Ancestors to Our Descendents”
- Holocaust and Faith
- Sources on Sadness and Suffering
- Spiritual Development activities
- What If God Was One of Us? A Theology Activity that illustrates Active Learning techniques