Torah Club of Temple Beth Am
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Torah Club?
Torah Club began in the fall of 2012 as a way to encourage kids both to maintain and to further develop the trope skills they learned in 5th grade. Once the Torah Club dates are selected and distributed, members may either volunteer or be asked to read an aliyah on a particular date. On Torah Club Shabbatot, Torah Club members read all of the aliyot in whichever minyan Torah Club is scheduled to appear. Torah Club has quickly grown (more than doubling in size from the first year to the second) and is currently over 70 members strong.
Who can be a member?
Torah Club is designed to reinforce the trope skills the kids have already learned, which generally means that kids starting in the 6th grade would be eligible to join.
How does it work?
Aliyot are assigned well in advance of the Torah Club date, generally two to three weeks prior. Each member works with a mentor, either in person or over the phone over the course of the weeks leading up to the date. The mentor reviews the aliyah with the member and makes sure he or she is comfortable with the Hebrew and the trope.
What is the time commitment?
Flexible. If a member only wishes to read Torah once or twice, then the time commitment would be the preparation time necessary to learn the assigned aliyah. The amount of time varies depending on the member, but is on average 1 – 2 hours per aliyah with the mentor, and whatever time the member practices independently.
Are Torah Club members limited only to reading Torah?
No. Post b’nai mitzvah kids may also lead different parts of the service or read haftarah.
What if my child is having a bar/mat mitzvah this year? May he/she still participate in Torah Club?
Absolutely. No demands are made of kids preparing for a simcha – they are welcome to participate afterwards. Reading for Torah Club shortly after having a bar/bat mitzvah is often the most seamless way to transition to being a regular Torah reader since the kids will be well practiced in trope.
Is there a membership fee?
While there is no fee to join, we ask that parents voluntarily contribute to the Kiddush fund so that the Shabbat bulletin for each Torah Club date recognizes the kids’ participation in Torah Club by listing their names. (You may have noticed bulletins that said, “The parents of Torah Club members [names listed here] contributed to the Kiddush in honor of their kids reading Torah in [minyan listed].” Most families contributed $25 per kid, but any amount is welcome. That money is used to purchase dairy desserts to make the Shabbat special for the kids.
For more information or to sign up for Torah club, please contact Nina Golden at firstname.lastname@example.org.