“Madrich” has a proud sound! It also implies great responsibility because madrichim (Jewish youth tutors) are not just the oldest teenagers in a youth club or children’s summer camp whom everyone looks up to and wants to be friends with. Above all, they have immense responsibility and do difficult work, conveying knowledge to younger kids in a fascinating and non-standard way, setting the example, caring for the young and educating them.
Teenagers aged 15–17 who would like to attend the Madrichim School can enrol once in two years. Future madrichim complete special training, acquiring knowledge on a variety of Jewish topics and basics of pedagogy: how to work with children, organize events and solve problems that might arise.
Classes are organised on the principle of informal Jewish studies and are held by professionals from the Community and specialists invited to teach certain classes. In this way, the Madrichim School provides all-round education and a wealth of knowledge in the spheres of Judaism as well as pedagogy and psychology, and the latter two are not of less importance than the former.
Theory classes are taught once a week during the first year of training. The second year addresses practice. Future tutors work with children under the supervision of more experienced madrichim. Those who have displayed good skills of working with children can work as madrichim in children’s summer camp.
The core value of this programme for the Jewish Community is continuity: this work is not easy, and it is based on more experienced teenagers teaching less experienced ones. The latter grow older and not every one of them will want to be a volunteer. They find themselves in something else, go their separate ways in life, and the new generation of madrichim takes their place while the Madrichim School announces the admission of new future tutors… This is how everything is passed on without losing the essence of this important and difficult work. This continuity of generations is of great significance for the Community!