Greater Boston NCSY Presents: Benchmark

Invest in Judaism

#Roadto200
Join the movement in Greater Boston of 200 teens investing in their Judaism and earning great rewards!

NCSY Benchmark is a new initiative to create a culture and community around opting-in on weekly Jewish learning, completing a Sefer (Jewish book), and essential mentorship opportunity. The goal is to create a movement where 200 teens in the Greater Boston area commit to learning on a weekly basis with mentors (primarily college students). Sessions will take place Sunday- Thursday evenings, 7:00 PM- 8 PM. We’ll have 2 half-hour slots on both nights: 7:00 PM- 7:30 PM followed by 7:30 PM- 8:00 PM. Teens can select in the signup form which slot works best for their schedule.

The official opening session of NCSY Benchmark will be on January 17th 7:00-8:00 PM!

How to join:

  • Fill out the form HERE
  • In the form, you can decide to select your own group to learn with or you can be put in a group.
  • Your group will be paired up with a compatible advisor
  • You will receive an email to confirm your group and advisor

 

Rewards: 

  • Create an account on ncsyrewards.org in order to redeem your gift cards: Click HERE to create an account.
  • Each session that a teen attends will receive a $5 dollar gift card (Redeemed on NCSYRewards)
  • Completion of the program will receive Bonus Gift Cards (Amount Listed below)
  • Rewarding consistency: Teens who attend 5 straight sessions will receive an additional $20 Gift card (Redeemed on NCSYRewards)
  • Weekly Raffles: Nightly winner will receive 30 additional points

 

Rules and Parameters:

  1. Teens have to commit to 4 sessions before qualifying for a Sefer.
  2. Teens must choose one weeknight that they will participate in for the duration.
  3. Teens must not miss more than 2 sessions out of every 10.
  4. Missing more than 2 events will disqualify teens from receiving nightly points/gift cards.
  5. Teens should have a copy of the Sefer being learned in each session.
  6. To qualify for points, teens need to have their screen on and interactive during the learning

Benchmark Tracks:

 

Scroll Down For More Details!

Jewish Thought: (Bonus $50 Gift Card)

  • Iggeres Haramban
  • A Letter in the Scroll
  • Derech Hashem
  • Mesilas Yesharim
  • Magic Touch
  • Permission to Believe
  • Permission to Receive
  • Praying with Fire
  • Pirkei Avos
  • 6 Constant Mitzvos
  • Chafetz Chaim- Daily Companion
  • Chovas Hatalmidim
  • Praying with Fire
  • Judaism Unraveled

 

Halacha/Jewish Law: (Bonus $80 Gift Card)

  • Kitzur Shulchan Aruch
  • Peninei Halacha
  • Kosher Kitchen
  • Laws of Daily Living
  • Shaarei Halacha
  • Guidelines Series

 

Gemara: (Bonus $100 Upperclass ONLY)

  • Taanis
  • Megillah
  • Makkos
  • Chagigah
  • Moed Kattan

 

To join the incredible Benchmark program, please click HERE

 

Benchmark Tracks:

Jewish Thought:

  • Iggeres HaRambam- according to tradition, after his exile from Spain for his defense of Judaism, the great Ramban (Nachmanides) sent this letter to his son. The letter which many recite weekly gives a blueprint for an ethical life as timely today as it was then. This book presents it as the basis for a beautiful collection of insights, comments, and anecdotes.
  • A letter in the scroll by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks- written originally as a wedding gift to his son and daughter-in-law, A Letter in the Scroll is Rabbi Sacks’s personal answer to that question, a testimony to the enduring strength of his religion. Tracing the revolutionary series of philosophical and theological ideas that Judaism created — from covenant to sabbath to formal education — and showing us how they remain compellingly relevant in our time, Sacks portrays Jewish identity as an honor as well as a duty.
  • Derech Hashem, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato- Derech HaShem is a philosophical text written in the 1730s by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto. It is considered one of the quintessential handbooks of Jewish thought. The text covers a vast gamut of philosophical topics in the vast spectrum of classical Judaism’s outlook on the world.
  • Mesilas Yesharim- Composed in Amsterdam (1738 CE). Mesillat Yesharim is an ethical (musar) text composed by the influential Rabbi Moshe Hayyim ‎Luzzatto (1707–1746). It was written and published in Amsterdam. The earliest known manuscript ‎version, written in 1738, was arranged as a dialogue between a hakham (wise man) and ‎a hasid (pious person). Before publication, it was rearranged to have only one speaker. The ‎dialogue version often sheds light on the more well-known version. Mesillat Yesharim is probably ‎Luzzato’s most influential work
  • Magic Touch-  The Magic Touch explores the mystery and majesty of touch – leading up to, and within the context of marriage – all from a traditional Jewish perspective.
  • Permission to Believe-  by Rabbi L. Kelemen is the best available logical approach to G-d’s existence, written in English, that I have come upon. Rabbi Keleman explains via teological, moral, cosmological, and historical reasoning that will appeal to the skeptic who seeks rational proof to know that G-d Is.
  • Permission to Receive- Those who passionately value both intellectual integrity and their spiritual inheritance and those separated from their Jewish heritage only by healthy skepticism, will find in this book Permission to Receive.
  • Praying with Fire- Praying With Fire is the ultimate guidebook to fine-tune attitudes and approaches to daily communicating with Hashem. The book examines several key components of meaningful tefillah, such as: -Igniting the Power of Prayer.
  • Pirkei Avos- Pirkei Avot, which translates to English as Chapters of the Fathers, is a compilation of the ethical teachings and maxims from Rabbinic Jewish tradition. It is part of didactic Jewish ethical literature.
  • 6 Constant Mitzvos- Based on a series of lectures by noted scholar Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz, co-author of A Lesson a Day, the groundbreaking work on shemiras halashon, The 6 Constant Mitzvos is a book that will transform the way we live our lives.
  • Chafetz Chaim- Daily Companion- The concepts and laws of proper speech as formulated by Sefer Chofetz Chaim arranged for daily study by the Manchester Rosh Yeshivah, Rabbi Yehudah Zev Segal. This book has been designed to make this learning accessible to every Jew, of every background and level of learning. The sources in Sefer Chofetz Chaim are given for each day’s lesson. The daily lessons follow the Shmiras Haloshon Yomi Calendar dividing into segments the lessons so that the entire Sefer can be studied three times a year.
  • Chovas Hatalmidim- Composed in Warsaw (c.1928 – c.1932 CE). Chovat HaTalmidim (lit. ‘Students’ Obligation’) is an ethical work and self-development guide for young students, authored by the Rebbe of Piaseczna. It is the only work that was published during his lifetime and has become a standard textbook in contemporary yeshivot.
  • Praying with Fire- With soul-stirring introductions by HaRav Mattisyahu Salomon and Rabbi Yisroel Reisman, Praying With Fire is the ultimate guidebook to fine-tune attitudes and approaches to daily communicating with Hashem. The book examines several key components of meaningful Tefillah, such as: Igniting the Power of Prayer.
  • Judaism Unraveled- How do we know G-d exists? • Why did G-d create the universe? • If G-d knows the future, how can we have free will? • Isn t the concept of the Chosen People inherently racist? • Why do Orthodox Jews not accept conversions performed by other Jewish denominations? • How could the Torah sanction the killing of certain ancient non-Jewish peoples, such as the Amalekites? • Why does Judaism prohibit wine touched by a non-Jew?

 

Halacha/Jewish Law:

  • Kitzur Shulchan Aruch- Composed in Uzhgorod (c.1844 – c.1864 CE). The Kitzur Shulhan Arukh is a summary of the Shulhan Arukh of Joseph Karo with reference to later commentaries, The Kitzur states what is permitted and what is forbidden without ambiguity
  • Peninei Halacha- Peninei Halakha is a comprehensive series of books on Jewish law applied to today’s ever-changing world. In this series, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed’s well-organized, clear, and concise writing style brings the halakha, from principle to practical detail, to readers of all backgrounds. With over 400,000 copies in circulation, Peninei Halakha stands as one of the most popular and useful halakha series in Israel today.
  • Kosher Kitchen– The Kosher Kitchen he explains the basic principles of kashrus and their practical ramifications, showing us how to avoid problematic situations and how to recognize halachic questions and ask them correctly.
  • Laws of Daily Living– A comprehensive halachic guide to Morning Routines, Preparations for Prayers, Tallis, Tefillin, The Berachos, Amen, Pesukei Dezimrah
  • Shaarei Halacha– This masterpiece fills a great need for our generation–a generation characterized by a thirst for the eternal values of Judaism. Now, the English-speaking reader can enjoy a clearly written and easy to read a summary of Jewish law, based on the Mishnah Berurah. Among the many topics included in this work are: Tzitzis, the daily routine, prayer, tefillin, blessings, the Sabbath, festivals and special days, the dietary laws, and mourning.
  • Guidelines Series- this concise book contains everything you need to know about cooking on Shabbos.

Gemara: 

  • Taanis– Composed in Talmudic Babylon (c.450 – c.550 CE). Taanit (Fasting) belongs to the second order, Moed (Festivals), and discusses the regulation of the special fast-days in times of drought or other untoward occurrences. It has four chapters.
  • Megillah–  Composed in Talmudic Babylon (c.450 – c.550 CE). Megillah (Scroll) belongs to the second order, Moed (Festivals) and discusses regulations and prescriptions regarding the reading of the scroll of Esther at Purim, and the reading of other passages from the Torah and Neviim in the synagogue. It has four chapters.
  • Makkos–  Composed in Talmudic Babylon (c.450 – c.550 CE). Makkot (Lashes) belongs to the fourth order, Nezikin (The Order of Damages), and discusses collusive witnesses, cities of refuge, and the punishment of lashes. It has three chapters.
  • Chagigah– Composed in Talmudic Babylon (c.450 – c.550 CE). Hagigiah (Festival Offering) belongs to the second order, Moed (Festivals) and the Three Pilgrimage Festivals (Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot) and the pilgrimage offering that men were supposed to bring in Jerusalem. It has three chapters.
  • Moed Kattan- Composed in Talmudic Babylon (c.450 – c.550 CE). Moed Qatan (Little Festival) belongs to the second order, Moed (Festivals), and discusses Chol Hamoed, the intermediate festival days of Pesach and Sukkot, and the laws of mourning. It has three chapters.