Grade 7 (WBTYhelps)
These are especially critical years for any Jewish student. They are forced to confront the question: What does it mean to be a Jewish adult? Our 7th grade program allows students to put all of their previous Jewish learning to use in the real world, thus giving them their first view of what it means to live Jewishly as a full participant in the community.
WBTYhelps engages students in service learning in order to form deep connections between volunteer work and the Jewish tradition. In partnership with Tzedek America, students will take half day trips, specifically curated to give the participants profound insight into many issues of social justice in our city. Each trip is a stand alone experience, but the common threads are woven together to form a tapestry of experiences and perspectives. The students will also be able to interact with community organizers who are passionately committed to their causes. All trips begin at 9:30 AM and end at 2:30 PM. Trips will depart from and end at the Glazer Campus in Koreatown, 3663 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.
Wilshire Boulevard Temple will offer 18 day trips throughout the 2019-2020 academic year. All students will be required to participate in eight field trips, and will be able to select specific trip dates once enrolled in the program.
Note: Participation in WBTYhelps fulfills the requirement for the B'nei Mitzvah Tikkun Olam Project.
Examples of day trips include:
Thrift Shopping With a Purpose: Thrift shops are as social enterprises, which support a specific non-profit. During our “thrift shopping with a purpose” adventure we will visit up to four thrift shops and hear from the people who run these operations and often the clients that the thrift shop supports. On this tour, we will discover hidden gems through a fun and educational scavenger hunt.
Where The Green Grass Grows - Environmental Justice in Los Angeles: Learn the basic principles of environmental justice and discover how it attributes to overall economic, racial and social justice worldwide. This interactive bus tour will examine past victories and current campaigns for environmental equity in Los Angeles. We will learn from the leaders of organizations fighting on behalf of communities most affected by environmental hazards.
Breaking Bread: Food Justice in Los Angeles: Learn about food insecurity in Los Angeles by growing, eating and preparing food. To understand food deserts, we will visit a restaurant whose mission is to provide healthy foods at reduced costs in low-income neighborhoods. We will contribute to planting in a community garden, and experience sustainable living by making our own jars of pickles.
Racial Justice: We begin our journey at the California African American Museum for a customized visit led by an expert historian. We will meet with local leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement and learn about their fight against racially-motivated police brutality in the United States. We will also hear from individuals at Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, an organization that works to improve economic equality for racial minorities in Southern California.
Immigration and Refugees - A Deeper Look: On this trip, we will try to understand the various perspectives on immigration and refugees in the United States. This program offers the unique opportunity to participate in a Q&A with an ICE agent, enjoy delicious lunch at a refugee or immigrant owned restaurant and hear from recipients of the DACA grant. In addition, we might meet with activists, artists and attorneys advocating for the rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles.
Understanding Homelessness - Poverty, Addiction and Mental Illness: Learn about how gentrification and homelessness relate by taking a tour of Downtown Los Angeles. Walk through the neighborhood of Skid Row and listen to the stories of individuals who are currently facing homelessness. Visit a mobile school that serves homeless youth. Hear from the leaders of several non-profit organizations that are working to protect the civil rights of homeless people, ensure their immediate needs and advocate for lasting solutions to end this national problem.
Gangs and the Prison System: Learn about organizations devoted to prison reform, juvenile and justice and healing those who’ve been involved in gangs. To truly understand what motivates a person to join a gang, we will hear the life stories of former gang members from Los Angeles. We will also meet with formerly incarcerated individuals and learn about organizations advancing the rights of prisoners in California.