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Pre B’nei Mitzvah Program

Every Child Can Discover Joy in the Rituals of Judaism

Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Chasadim at Gateways (TAGG) is an experiential, thematic Jewish education program. Every Sunday, students enter a world of Jewish history, ritual, and experience tailored to their individual strengths and learning styles. Our highly-trained educators use visual supports and differentiated instruction to present a multisensory curriculum that includes Jewish holidays, Torah stories, and Hebrew, as well as Jewish culture and traditions. Creative arts and music are included each week. All students receive one-to-one (or more) support from teen volunteers who receive ongoing training. All the while, students build meaningful relationships and participate in a compassionate and welcoming community.

Who Should Join TAGG?

Torah, Avodah and G’milut Chasadim at Gateways (TAGG) is ideal for students who benefit from strategies and supports not typically offered in a classic supplementary Jewish educational setting. Gateways students receive individualized attention in a small class environment that allows them to successfully access a formal Jewish education.

This program is best for students who are pre-b’nei mitzvah (ages 5-13) as well as those who are participating in Gateways’ mid-week B’nei Mitzvah Program.

Explore: A Typical Day at TAGG

TAGG programming takes place at the JCC of Greater Boston at 33 Nahanton Street, Newton, MA.

Arrival: Teachers and teen volunteers welcome students to the program. Students view a prominently-displayed visual schedule detailing what the day will entail. (Some students also create their own personalized visual schedule that they use to help them navigate the day.) Students participate in an arrival activity—such as drawing, a board game, brainteaser, or sensory activity—that previews the day’s themes and helps them transition into the program.

Opening Meeting: Teacher gathers all students and their teen volunteer aides to review the day’s schedule and formally introduce the topic and themes. Instructors use visuals to explain concepts and to elicit students’ questions and responses.

Centers: Students and their teen volunteer aides participate in a variety of activities (including arts-and-crafts, sensory exploration, and trivia games) that deepen understanding about the day’s focal topic. On some days, students rotate to stations where they engage with Jewish objects and practice Jewish rituals. Instructors introduce Jewish history, both Biblical and modern, through literature, art, and moving images.

Snack: Teachers and volunteers encourage students to socialize and build community as they enjoy a light and healthy snack. Volunteers support students in initiating positive social interactions and engaging one another in age-appropriate conversation. (Note: snack policies may shift due to evolving COVID-19 protocols.)

Hebrew/Prayers: This portion of the schedule is individualized for each student, and Gateways offers an array of options for students to learn to read and recite prayers. Some students use our Hebrew Reading Program, others use a Sight Word Program, and we also use technology to enable non-verbal students to participate meaningfully in Jewish prayer.

Dismissal: The class comes together for a closing activity, during which students reflect on what they learned. Instructors use formal reflection tools to guide students through this activity, and each student’s teen volunteer shares the child’s reflections with parents/guardians during pick-up. Volunteers also relay any questions or information to and from families so that parents/guardians and Gateways’ program staff continue to remain in open communication.

Class Calendar

Click the image to view our 2021-2022 class calendar.

Enrollment and Financial Information

Forms, instructions, and financial information for enrolling both new and returning students in one of Gateways’ Jewish Education Programs.

student and volunteer smiling looking at binder

Teen Volunteers in Gateways’ Jewish Education Programs

Gateways’ highly-selective Teen Volunteer Program accepts applications from April/May through mid-June. Learn more about our Teen Volunteer Program and find out how to apply.

Three teen volunteers smiling

Frequently Asked Questions

See More TAGG Program FAQ

For more information about TAGG, please contact .

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