B’nei Mitzvah Program Launch 2024: South African and Brazilian Students Connect


Students from Herzlia Highlands Primary and Herzlia Weizman Primary in Cape Town, South Africa, and Escola ORT Brazil in Rio de Janeiro have participated in an engaging Zoom event to launch this year’s B’nei Mitzvah program.

The virtual event was the start of their twinning journey together, designed to foster international friendships and cultural exchange.

The event commenced with a variety of icebreaker games to help the young participants feel at ease and begin forming connections. The students then introduced their respective schools and shared interesting facts about their countries.

Central to the event was a fun quiz based on the different lessons in the B’nei Mitzvah Program with themes such as courage in the Holocaust, everyone has a name, and our community.

The students learned how the program differed from a traditional B’nei Mitzvah program and how their schools would be twinned, allowing for ongoing collaboration and shared learning experiences.

The students are excited for their B’nei Mitzvah program lessons in school and to meet for two further Zoom sessions over the next few months. They are eagerly anticipating the next steps in their school twinning journey together.

Rethinking the B’nei Mitzvah Experience is a new curriculum intended for pre-B’nei Mitzvah middle school-age students. Part of World ORT’s Jewish Experience program, it includes modules which use educational technology, ancient and modern Jewish texts and active discussions to explore a teenager’s place in their Jewish world.

Lessons guide students through a cultural lens to think about their own personal Jewish journey, their place in the local Jewish community and connections to the larger Diaspora community.