BINA is one of Israel’s leading Jewish organizations dedicated to advancing Judaism and democracy in Israel and the Jewish world through limmud (study), ma’ase (action) and kehillah (community), emphasizing Jewish culture and values of tikkun olam (repairing the world).
BINA reaches over 100,000 Israelis and Jews from all over the world each year, with the goal of enhancing authentic Jewish and Israeli identity. BINA designs and implements social and educational programs including year-long study and volunteer programs, workshops and seminars, life cycle ceremonies, and public events that empower Jews to take ownership of their Jewish identity and to make a positive difference in their local community, in Israeli society, in the Jewish world, and beyond.
BINA’s Mitchabrot-Mitchabrim (“Teens Connecting”) is a unique, multi-generational Bat/Bar Mitzvah program that aims to empower Jewish young men and women to take ownership of their unique identities as Jewish-American-Israeli teenagers, and to make a difference in their own lives and in their communities. The program encourages teens to recognize their strengths while facing the challenges brought on by adolescence, through forming a connection to their Jewish and Israeli roots, their families, and other teens who are on a similar journey.
The program consists of a series of four interactive online sessions held every other week. Participants will explore their roots, unique family story, and relationship with their family and peers –and interact with other teenagers who share a journey similar to theirs.
Adolescence – What exactly is going on?
It’s a fun “get to know you” session in a family setting, with the teen and one or both parents and the facilitator. We discuss what it means to be 12/13 years old, and ask what adolescence is. We try to understand whether the teens really feel that significant changes occur at this age, and hear from their parents about what they experienced around their Bat/Bar Mitzvah year.
During the session, we will establish expectations for the continuation of the journey and will also familiarize ourselves with two tools that will accompany us throughout the program. The “personal and group map” will accompany us through all the sessions, and on it the participants will artistically express the processes they undergo either separately or together. The second tool is a personal online scrapbook that participants will receive that will accompany them throughout the process and in which they will record the various personal tasks they’ll receive.
“And You Shall Tell Your Son or Daughter…” – What pieces of identity am I made of?
“Like a Russian doll / a doll within a doll within a doll / tucked within me are my mother and my grandmother and her mother and grandmother / all of our generations in a solid line / like an avenue of power” – Dalia Kava, Israeli poet
We will look at our personal identity puzzle and what unique pieces it consists of. How is the fact that I am at the same time American, Israeli, Jewish, and a teenager with my own personal interests and passions all tie together and form the unique puzzle that is me.
During this session, which will in part be one-on-one and in part with the participants’ family members, we will explore what we gain from each “puzzle piece” as well as what is passed down from our grandparents to our parents and then to us, as well as what we choose to take with us to our own future homes. Seeing all these as the qualities that will serve as a source of strength and inspiration that will accompany the participants from now on.
“Lech Lecha”- Adolescence and Bar/Bat Mitzva as a transition to a new realm
This session is the first to take place in a group setting that will introduce the participants to one another. It will allow them both to share things they’ve created in the first two sessions, as well as open up the discussion to themes that are more easily discussed with peers rather than family.
We will explore the motif of “Lech Lecha” (“Go from your country, your people, and your father’s house…”) in our lives, symbolizing the need to part from various things and people in our lives in order to mature, become independent, and fulfill our goals. Along with the personal aspect of the theme, we will take a look at the geographical journeys made by our ancestors, parents, and ourselves – and what impact those journeys have had on our identity and what we identify as and with.
“We Can Be Heroes?!” – On leadership and our ability to impact the world
We will open this group session with the participants each sharing an anecdote wherein they faced difficulty and overcame it. We will focus on the “overcoming,” what qualities do we already possess, and who are the people in our circle of support.
From there we will turn to our various sources of inspiration, both universal and Jewish. We will acquaint ourselves with stories of young people who showed leadership in complex situations. We will discuss leadership with a focus on strong role models with the goal of understanding the strengths of each participant that they can use to be a trailblazer – leading and being a leader.
“The program made us think deeply, analyze and talk about very meaningful stuff. It was definitely a unique and fun program to take part in, with a very important message.”
“Thank you for the opportunity to celebrate my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah year in a significant, thought-provoking, and valuable way”
“Not only did my son have an amazing and empowering experience, I experienced the same things along with him. We began a process that will most definitely effect his growth and adolescence for the better. Thank you for everything!”