Midrasha in Berkeley engages Jewish teens in exploring their identity as Jews through social, educational, and experiential programming. Through weekly classes, tri-annual retreats, and social action projects, East Bay teens in grades 8 through 12 strengthen their ties with their heritage and their community.
We have recently launched our Hineini, "Here I am," campaign to support our Jewish teens. We're shooting for the stars with a $100,00 fundraising campaign to preserve Midrasha in Berkeley as we build an innovative retreat and experiential education program for all East Bay Jewish teens. To participate, click on the Donate button below. We are so pleased that to date we have reached one half of our goal.
Pre-registration for 2013-2014
Midrasha in the J. Weekly
Midrasha Catalog 2012-2013
Registration Form 2012-2013
Summer Opportunities for Jewish Teens
2012 Graduation Speeches
Family Handbook 2012-2013
What people say about Midrasha in Berkeley
I found magic when I went to Midrasha.
Masha Aleskovski, Class of 2012
Our children have been on many group retreats with different organizations, and have been struck by the difference in culture and attitude towards inclusivity and tolerance of physically and mentally challenged peers. At many organizations, the teens are given little guidance about expected behavior in these situations, and there is often a culture of cruelty and humiliation that excludes all but the most powerful from the popular circles. At Midrasha there is a palpable curriculum of seminars and classroom ethics discussions which promote a celebration of tolerance and community. In fact, my children have met some of their best friends at Midrasha while working together to help peers with physical and mental challenges.
Michele Herman, Parent, Class of '12,'13,'15,'16
What I’m taking away from Midrasha is a means of figuring out what my relationship to Judaism will be after I leave home....Midrasha has shown me that I can be Jewish in my own way.
Elisheva Anisman, Class of 2012
There is so much more to Judaism than puzzling out words in Hebrew and memorizing the names of the months. At Midrasha I was finally able to take classes that I like, classes that I was interested in and classes that pushed me, both intellectually and emotionally...........This year I was honored to be the head of the Midrasha Homeless Shelter Committee. I will never forget the experiences that volunteering at the homeless shelter has given me, and the responsibility that stimulated my growth as a leader is irreplaceable.
Dina Blanter, Class of 2012
After years of learning Hebrew and the Torah in preparation for my Bar Mitzvah, I had little clue what to expect from a Jewish high school experience. What I found at Midrasha was a mixture of tradition and originality, an intellectual and social alternative to my secular high school experience.....My Midrasha teacher created an environment in which we all felt comfortable shedding our insecurities to have real discussions. His openness and generosity as a teacher allowed for one of the more unique educational experiences of my life thus far....Despite different levels of religious observance, different interests and different schools, we were all bound together through Judaism… more than just being Jews, we are Bay Area Jews, a special breed.
Ben Dandridge-Lemco, Class of 2012
I love this community – the inspiring teachers, the intense conversations about ethics and culture and the wonderful friends I have made.
Rebecca Herman, Class of 2012
Retreats are an amazing experience because they allow younger and older students to connect without the social pressures that come with school and other extra-curriculars.....Midrasha is such an important part of my life and my Jewish identity as it has affected and molded it in many positive ways. Midrasha has always been a safe space for me to go to during times of need.
Victoria Miller, Class of 2012
The various art courses I have taken at Midrasha over the years have opened up a different path for me to relate to Jewish culture and religion, from creating beautiful Jewish ritual objects to reinterpreting Bible stories through artwork.....I am very thankful for the classes I’ve had at Midrasha, the chance to take the time to relax and be creative, to continue to explore my Jewish identity and for the positive experience Midrasha has been in my life.
Shayna Prochovnick, Class of 2012
Whether it was star-gazing at Camp Newman on a Saturday night in January, learning about the hidden love behind the book of Genesis, or being taught how to relate Judaism to comic books, my experience has certainly not been one of monotony or boredom.
Jake Schnur, Class of 2012
Not only did Midrasha give me an opportunity to make new friends, it also gave me powerful techniques to cope with my stress and anxiety during hectic times.
Sam Stone, Class of 2012
My teenagers are so lucky to have Midrasha as the place they will look back on when they think about the good times associated with being a teenager. It's got it all--friends, intellectual challenge, humor, values--a safe place to grow up into a complex, interesting, authentic mensch.
Karen Bovarnick, Parent, Class of 2008 and 2011