The word Machane (Mah-cha-NEY) in Hebrew means camp. TBA stands for Temple Beth Ami. Jewish camping is a highly successful enterprise which achieves its goal of engaging kids in a Jewish setting where they establish lasting friendships. At Machane TBA we draw from the best practices of Jewish camping and we apply them to our educational instruction and overall atmosphere so that our students are always actively learning and interacting. So while “Machane” is our name, more importantly it represents the philosophy of Jewish engagement that we seek to harness.
We are an innovative, inclusive Reform Jewish school where Jewish life and values are modeled by every single member of our staff and where students are at the center of the momentum. At Machane TBA, we foster a love of Jewish living and learning through experiential programming, classroom activity, high-energy musical tefillah, and interpersonal relationships. Machane TBA educators always seek new ways to combine meaningful Jewish learning and transformative programming in order to create the BEST experiences for our students.
Primary Enrichment provides our Pre-K-2nd grade students with three diverse 7-week fun, educational class sessions on Sunday mornings after their regular Machane session. Children are given the opportunity to engage in social activities and meet children from other grades and classes whom they might not ordinarily spend time with during their Machane session. Children have a snack of bagels with cream cheese, butter or jelly and juice and they have time for free play.
Primary Kehillah are stand-alone youth programs for our Pre-K-2nd grade students held on Sunday mornings after their regular Machane session. These are structured social programs with a fun, age-appropriate, engaging activity. In the past, they learned about Tikkun Olam when Star Gazing Farm animals visited and we created crafts to be sold to raise funds for this nonprofit animal sanctuary. We’ve baked hamentashen and made mishloach manot gift bags to donate. We provide bagels with cream cheese, butter or jelly and juice. There is time for free play, in addition to their Primary Kehillah Program.
The 7th grade curriculum is designed around the topic of Jewish Identity. As our 7th grade students approach Bar/Bat Mitzvah, they explore what it means to be a Jewish adult in our community and in the world around them. In classrooms and/or large group settings and with a variety of programs and speakers, the students learn about American Jewish life, history, the Holocaust and Israel. During the year, students have a field trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial museum.
We also offer parent/child programming for 7th grade families. There is a strong emphasis on community and relationship building throughout the year with a goal of strengthening the students’ connections to one another, to Temple Beth Ami and to the greater Jewish community.
TBAjrHigh students have opportunities for special Kehillah events, including an annual field trip to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and a much-awaited snow tubing trip held on a day in January when MCPS schools are closed.
TBAHigh is a multi-faceted and all-encompassing approach to Jewish teen engagement for students in grade 8-12. Our program focuses on Jewish learning, identity and community-building, and it draws on the best practices of successful youth engagement.
Teens in 8th-12th grade assist staff and students during our Sunday TBA Machane religious education programming, and serve as role models for our younger students. Some Madrichim may be eligible to earn SSL hours, and a limited number of Madrichim positions are paid.
TBAHigh has teen leaders on the Student Council who work on committees to help shape all aspects of programming. Meetings take place on TBAHigh Elective Nights. Committees include the following:
Religious and Cultural Committee
Social Action Committee
The Executive Board leads the Student Council Committees to plan programs for the year. The Executive Board meets every Tuesday when TBAHigh is in session.