Shaare Emeth Religious School’s 9th-10th Grade Program
Confirmation – Affirming Your Jewish Identity
Confirmation I and II is a two-year program for our 9th and 10th grade students. The Confirmation curriculum is taught by our Clergy and other expert teachers on Sunday mornings. This program continues to enhance and strengthen our students’ pride in being a part of the Jewish community. Students continually speak about how Confirmation is one of the highlights of their Jewish educational journey at Shaare Emeth! It includes a number of experiential learning programs, significant time with their friends, and culminates in the service of Confirmation at the end of 10th Grade, celebrating their commitment to Jewish learning and community.
Confirmation I: 9th Grade
In 9th Grade, our students are asking big questions about who they want to be in the world and what they believe in. We capture that energy as we spend the year exploring what Jews believe.
- Our participants start by learning about the various movements and forms of Judaism and what it means to be a Reform Jew.
- With that foundation, they spend some time looking at different Jewish theologies to help them articulate what they believe (or what they do not believe) about God and spiritual matters.
- As the year progresses, we widen our lens as students go on a multifaith journey. Grounded in Jewish ideas and values, they look outward at other religious groups within our community including Christianity of all stripes, Islam, Hinduism, and more. They have the chance to hear from local faith leaders, visit houses of worship in St. Louis, and share their reflections with one another.
We hope this year immerses them in questions of identity, faith, personal choice, and more to prepare them for the next steps in their journey.
Confirmation II: 10th Grade
The 10th Grade invites our students to engage with the wider community and society around them around them by exploring social justice issues through a Jewish lens. We find the issues that our teens care about all over the spectrum, including climate justice, gender equity, gun violence, and more. Participants have the opportunity to look at a wide variety of issues from a Jewish perspective, studying ancient and modern texts together. They also have the chance to engage in debate and wrestle with these texts to understand their own beliefs better. Our program becomes a place for questioning what is and imagining what could be.
To take their learning live in the real world, our 10th Grade students participate in the L’Taken Seminar through the Religious Action Center in Washington DC. During an intensive 4-day seminar, they learn about social justice issues with teens from all over the country and hear from experts about current bills in Congress. With that knowledge, the students have the opportunity to lobby their representatives on Capitol Hill! This transformative trip is a key part of their learning experience.
In the spring of their 10th Grade year, our Confirmation participants inspire the entire congregation by participating in their Confirmation service. The service is planned, written, and created by the class in partnership with our Clergy and Worship team. Students have the chance to share what they have learned over the years and mark the end of this phase of their formal Jewish learning.