fbpx Teen "TEL" Curriculum: Hiddur Mitzvah | Reconstructing Judaism

Teen "TEL" Curriculum: Hiddur Mitzvah

PDF icon TEL Curriculum on Hiddur Mitzvah

The TEL (Teens: Experience and Learning) post-b’nai mitzvah program focuses on the values of spiritual peoplehood that form the cornerstones of Reconstructionist Jewish education. Each curriculum focuses on a different value. Hiddur Mitzvah is a Hebrew expression meaning “beautification of a mitzvah,” which we here interpret as creativity in its broadest sense. 

The curricular units are:

  • Intro, Havayot 1-2 - Judaism & Film and Judaism & Literature
  • Havayah 3 - Judaism & Comedy
  • Havayah 4 - Judaism & Music
  • Havayah 5a - Judaism & Visual Arts: Intro and Marc Chagall
  • Havayah 5b - Judaism & Visual Arts: Tobi Kahn
  • Havayah 5c - Judaism & Visual Arts: Helene Aylon
  • Havayah 6 - Jewish Characters & Television

PLEASE NOTE: Because this curriculum is five years old and has not been updated, we encourage you to find newer or different texts, and newer, more relevant activities and scenarios to add to the existing material. We invite you to update the curriculum in the most effective way for your community and hope that you will share your newfound examples with other educators. You might want to consider adding new activities that include art, cooking and food based activities, drama, games/movement, music, storytelling and any other hands on activities that are appropriate for your current group of teens.  We welcome all feedback before, during, and after your use of the curriculum.  Please send your suggested additions to Jackie Land, jland@rrc.edu , who will create an updated resource bank for Tikkun Olam. If you have additional questions or comments, please contact Jackie. We’re excited to be able to partner with our educators in keeping this curriculum modern and relevant!



    Related Resources

    Exploration of God Beliefs: A Teen Program

    This pilot program for Jewish teen education provides several activities for exploring and sharing beliefs about God. 


    A Child's Biography of Mordecai Kaplan

    This short biography of Mordecai Kaplan is written for children from 5th to 9th grade.


    New Faces of Peoplehood: Two Educational Reflections from the conference “Wrestling with Jewish Peoplehood”

    This resource on Jewish peoplehood provides tools for Jewish educators, including early childhood educators, to reflect and teach on issues of Jewish identity and peoplehood.


    Twelve Years A Slave: A Passover Resource

    This printable resource pairs selected quotes from Solomon Northup’s autobiographical memoir, “12 Years a Slave,” with quotes from the Exodus and other Jewish texts.


    Mishnah Impossible

    This is a hands-on, team activity for the week before Sukkot that allows students to build sukkot according to instructions given in the Mishnah.


    Exodus in Our Time

    A creative meditation on liberation from Egypt