Last week, about 1,500 students from 12 middle schools, including from the Five Towns and Teaneck, embarked on a Torah learning journey as part of the Orthodox Union’s Torah Initiative’s All Mishnah Junior (AMJ) program.
Participating students commit to learning two mishnayot (written collection of Jewish oral traditions) a day to complete all 24 chapters of Masechta Shabbat and Megillah in only a few months. The goal of this program is to involve young students in Torah learning with a fun factor: swag (branded hoodies) and raffle prizes ranging from gift cards to AirPods and Oculuses.
AMJ is a student-led program. Some of the 6th-8th graders are ambassadors, responsible for encouraging their friends and classmates to join them in this venture. Student ambassadors feel pride and accomplishment from their valued input and influence on the growth of their entire school to learn Torah.
Students find various ways to complete their daily learning, whether through a lesson from a peer or rabbi, group learning with their friend or listening to the OU’s All Mishnah App. Participants are provided with complimentary Artscroll Mesorah Mishnayos.
Over the past few weeks, the ambassadors geared up at launch events to brainstorm and prepare for another exciting mishnah cycle.
“We’ve been inspired by the consistent initiative of these junior high students to incorporate daily elective Torah learning into their already packed school day,” noted Executive Director of OU Torah Initiatives Rabbi Moshe Brandsdorfer. “Interest is only increasing, as participants are committed and remain in the program, and an increasing number of schools and students are signing up.”
“It was truly amazing to see the passion and commitment on the ambassadors’ faces,” said Rabbi Meir Avracen, AMJ’s day school coordinator. “Their eagerness and devotion are bound to make this year’s program a resounding success.”