UJEB provides a wide range of programs for students of all ages in non-Jewish schools.
UJEB offers programs tailored to all stages of a Jewish school student’s life. As UJEB parent and current President, Gabi Crafti, puts it, UJEB today is “a Jewish educational institution that provides a wide range of programs for Jewish youth … across their student life journey.”
Melbourne today is home to an increasingly diverse Jewish community, and it is UJEB’s mission to cater to this diversity. We aim to provide programs in which young Jewish people from all walks of life can feel welcome and comfortable. For UJEB, being inclusive is vital in ensuring that our community remains strong into the future.
Jewish Life (JL)
Hebrew Immersion Program (HIP)
During our weekly sessions, students learn about and experience Jewish festivals, Shabbat, traditions and Israel. They also learn basic Hebrew letters and words, forming a foundation for future Hebrew study. We also run special assemblies for Jewish festivals. Each session is built around our year-long curriculum, which aims to foster a strong sense of Jewish identity within each student. Our students develop the knowledge and skills to fully participate in Jewish communal life, as well as a love and appreciation for Jewish practice.
This program is open to Jewish students in the school at which the program runs. Sessions run either before school for 50 minutes (BS, from 8 – 8.50 am), at lunchtime (L, for 30 minutes) or after school for 90 minutes (AS, from 3.30 – 5 pm).
HIP provides a dynamic and rigorous Hebrew language education which aims to develop strong speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Students also learn about Israeli culture. HIP graduates are equipped to continue studying Hebrew at secondary school level.
HIP is currently running in 5 government primary schools, with more schools to start in the near future. This program is open to all students in the school at which the program runs.
Bar & Bat Mitzvah Programs
Bar Mitzvah Program
Bat Mitzvah Program
Journey to 13, UJEB’s unique Bar Mitzvah program, is a coming-of-age experience which is contemporary and meaningful for participants. Our 6-month program is a creative and alternative option for marking this important Jewish life milestone, which enables participants to take their place in our community as passionate and engaged young men.
The program focuses on four main themes: community & family, culture, exercise & mindfulness and rites of passage. It also includes visits from inspiring community figures and organisations, and culminates in a ceremony designed by the boys themselves. Journey to 13 can either stand alone, or complement a more traditional synagogue Bar Mitzvah. The program runs twice per year, starting in February and July.
During UJEB’s year-long Bat Mitzvah program, girls develop their own emerging identities as young Jewish women. They learn about and experience social action, Jewish history, religion, traditions and culture, as well as their connection to Israel. Through partnerships with Twelve & Thirteen, the Jewish Museum and the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA), the girls explore the vibrant Jewish world through a variety of lenses. The program culminates in a beautiful ceremony with family and friends.
BBYO (B’nai B’rith Youth Organisation)
UJEB’s lunchtime Jewish cultural program, J-Lunch, provides weekly in-school social activities, cultural sessions and events for secondary school students.
Having J-Lunch in schools provides time each week for Jewish students to connect with other Jewish peers in their school, while encouraging the wider school community to engage and learn more about Jewish culture.
Highlights of a J-Lunch session is trying challah, learning about Jewish festivals and dancing to Hebrew music.
All that is required for J-Lunch to operate in a school is an available classroom and a designated lunchtime each week.
A group of highly motivated Melbourne Jewish teens are this year working to revive the vibrant BBYO youth movement in Australia, with a new Melbourne chapter. They are running regular events in 2019, which are open to secondary school students, and are supported by UJEB and B’nai B’rith Victoria.
Members of the core group had exciting opportunities to connect with the BBYO international movement this year. In February, a UJEB delegation of students attended the BBYO International Convention (IC) in Denver, Colorado, where they joined more than 4,000 Jewish teens, educators and philanthropists from over 40 countries. In June-July another group travelled to Pennsylvania for BBYO’s International Leadership Training Conference (ILTC), where they honed their leadership skills with 250 teens from all over the world.
Hebrew at Glen Eira College (GEC)
J-Voice was UJEB High’s latest leadership and activism program for secondary students at non-Jewish schools, from 2020-22.
Through leadership and collaborative sessions, the J-Voice student committee gets to create a report of what it’s like to be a Jewish student in Victoria in primary and secondary government schools.
The team’s ideas and solutions will then be presented directly to the Department of Education and Training to increase youth involvement in school strategy and initiate change in government schools.
Participation in J-Voice provides each participant with government endorsed leadership experience, formal recognition as an author on the final report and the opportunity to make a difference for the Jewish student experience.
From 2020, UJEB will support Glen Eira College (GEC) to reintroduce Hebrew language studies as part of the curriculum for year 7 students. The program will expand to include other year levels as this cohort progresses. This program also connects with other cultural activities at the school, including celebrations for Jewish festivals and the J-Lunch program.
Please direct enquiries about this program to Glen Eira College.
Sabra - Hebrew Language and Israeli Culture
Sabra: A Hebrew Language and Israeli Culture Pilot Program for Years 9-12. Sabra will be all about developing your teen’s conversational Hebrew with a focus on developing a vocabulary that pertains to situations they’ll find themselves in while travelling in Israel.
Learnings will include:
- Ordering food in a restaurant
- Getting around on public transport
- Shopping at the mall
- Meeting the family
- Street signs and maps
- and much more!
Sabra will hopefully prepare your teen for a more personal and connected experience the next time they visit Israel. We strongly recommend this program if your teen is heading on Nesiah 2022 or plans to attend in 2023, or if your teen is keen to go on Yallah Israel in 2023 or 2024.
Camps & Trips
Our autumn camp brings together UJEB’s extended community for a long weekend of informal learning and outdoor adventure activities. Run by our fully trained staff of young and vibrant leaders, participants learn about leadership, community and Jewish values. They also build friendships with their peers from other schools around Melbourne. UJEB camp is open to students from years 3 to 12 (ages 8 to 18).
Our Israel program brings together year 10 students from all over Australia for an immersive 5-week experience. The students get to delve into the real Israel, learning about and experiencing the land, its people, culture and history, as they travel the country from top to bottom. Along the way, they have many unique experiences, create lifelong friendships and develop a strong connection to our homeland. This program is run in partnership with the NSW Board of Jewish Education (BJE) and is specifically designed for year 10 students at non-Jewish schools.
Project Kulanu - Inclusion Programs
Inclusion – Project Kulanu
UJEB’s Project Kulanu provides a range of Jewish educational resources and services to families with children living on the Autism Spectrum and/or with disabilities. This includes weekly Jewish Life sessions in Specialist Schools, tailored B’nai Mitzvah programs for student with special needs, and professional development programs on inclusion for Jewish organisations and day schools. The Kulanu initiative is also building networks with other disability support organisations in our community, to improve cooperation and access for families to a wider range of services.