Our Confirmation program has three facets:
- Peer learning
- Participation in services
- Community service
It is written in the Talmud (Pirke Avot 1:2): the world is based on three things, on the Torah, on prayer, and on acts of loving kindness.
Confirmation represents the way in which we must live our lives. We strive to engage in learning, pray actively with the community, and volunteer in acts of tikun olam, repairing the world.
When our students became B-mitzvah, each student and their parents articulate the importance of continuing Jewish learning and participating in the life of our Jewish community.
Confirmation is the natural and important progression following B-mitzvah, the time to act upon the commitment made as young Jewish adults.
Just as our teens must grow and learn in the secular world, so too is it imperative that they grow and learn in the Jewish world. CEHV recognizes that it is not easy to find space in our full lives and busy schedules to engage deeply with our Jewish values and community. In supporting our young adults to prioritize their commitments we turn to Hillel’s words: If not now, when?
Our Confirmation process is a two year program for 9th and 10th graders, led by Rabbi Yael. We meet three times a month during the school year: one Wednesday evening, one Friday evening, and one Sunday morning. At the end of each year, the class goes on a Shabbaton, and concludes each year on Shavuot in a community Confirmation Service.
Peer Learning – students engage in lively learning and group dialogue on compelling contemporary topics that affect our lives. Recent topics have included: Intermarriage, Anti-Semitism, Racial Justice, Tattooing, Animal rights, Afterlife, Food Insecurity, Climate Change, and more. Rabbi Yael frames the learning with a Jewish text aligned with the monthly subject, guiding these first Wednesdays of each month peer learnings.
Shabbat dinner and service – students, with parent participation encouraged, share a meal before Shabbat services on the second Friday of each month. We gather together in the Social Hall for a shared Shabbat meal, opening and closing with Shabbat blessings. This has been a popular and meaningful tradition for our families, creating and deepening bonds and friendships, sharing connection and ideas over dinner. Following the meal, we join the CEHV community for Kabbalat Shabbat services.
Community Service - On the third weekend of each month, Rabbi Yael accompanies the class to volunteer as a group at different local organizations. Past community service days have been held at: various shelters for vulnerable populations, organic farms, animal rescue sites, nursing homes and senior residences, food pantries, and more.
Shabbaton – In the Spring of each year our confirmation class shares a Shabbaton weekend experience in one of the following cities: Newport, Rhode Island; Washington, DC; New York, NY; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The trip is an alumni favorite – a unique opportunity for our students to deepen and coalesce as a group, exploring our roots as American Jews, and have the special experience of spending a full Shabbat together as part of a fun weekend away together. Highlights include The Touro Synagogue, Ellis Island, the Lower East Side, The Holocaust Museum, The National Museum of American Jewish History. Rabbi Yael and Dr. Freedman chaperone the 3 days and 2 nights trip, and together with the students we participate in Shabbat services in diverse Jewish congregations in each city, share meals, experience doing Havdalah on the beach or river, and enjoy the night life of each city.
Confirmation Service - The Confirmation program concludes each spring with a community Shavuot Confirmation Service held on Shavuot in May or June. This celebratory service (attended by our CEHV community as well as the friends and family of the confirmands), is led by the confirmands, who take the opportunity to share and showcase their accomplishments and growth throughout the Confirmation experience.