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)
During our weekly before-school and lunchtime sessions, students learn about and experience Jewish festivals, Shabbat, traditions, Israel and Jewish music. They also learn basic Hebrew letters and words, forming a foundation for future Hebrew study. Each session is built around our year-long curriculum, which aims to foster a strong sense of Jewish identity within each student.
Before-school sessions run for 50 minutes (from 8 – 8.50 am) and lunchtime sessions run for 30 minutes. The before-school sessions include more in-depth study of Hebrew and Jewish traditions. This program is open to Jewish students in the school at which the program runs.
Hebrew Immersion Program (HIP)
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.
UJEB runs three Jewish learning and Hebrew language centres for primary school students in Caulfield, Bentleigh and Elwood. Each centre provides a full Hebrew language and Jewish studies program that covers traditions, customs and festivals. Our students develop the knowledge and skills to fully participate in Jewish communal life, as well as a love and appreciation for Jewish practice.
Students attend a 1.5-hour session, once per week. The Bentleigh centre is an approved child care service and eligible families can receive the Child Care Subsidy. Our After-School Centres are open to students from all non-Jewish primary schools.
Bar 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, culture, wellbeing 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.
Bat Mitzvah Program
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 Kids in Philanthropy (KiP), 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.
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).
Learning about Judaism doesn’t always need to be behind a desk. UJEB’s J-Lunch program provides weekly social, educational and cultural sessions and events for secondary school students. The programs are led by charismatic youth leaders, who run activities and discussions around contemporary topics like Israel, festivals, Jewish food, music and current affairs.
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.
Hebrew at Glen Eira College (GEC)
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.
B’nai B’rith Youth Organisation (BBYO)
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.
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.