Growing Hearts

A New Jewish Rite of Passage for 6th-8th graders

The Idea Behind Growing Hearts: 

The idea for Growing Hearts comes from a simple question: How can we inspire, delight and challenge our kids while connecting them to their Jewish identity?    

Growing Hearts is Co/Lab’s answer. Drawing on wilderness experiences, embodied Jewish practice, creativity, and Jewish ritual we will create a powerful experience for young people. 

The program will begin in January and run through the summer.  Our educators, Rabbi Josh, Rachel Stern and Josh Lake, will present a framework that combines all of these different elements to guide our kids along the path.  Families will have opportunities to breathe life into the program and to make the resulting learning their own. 

Growing Hearts culminates in a rite of passage that will mark this key transition point in the lives of the kids who are involved. At the end of the year all of us will gather for a communal celebration overnight experience of fun and reflection.  A culminating ceremony will have kids and parents  “graduate”  to the next stage of their life journey. We reflect on what we’ve learned and what it means to integrate these lessons into our daily lives, and celebrate with a mazel tov on the culmination of the work we’ve done together. 

Interested? Join us November 14th, 11am at the East Side Jewish Commons (2420 NE Sandy Blvd) for an informational meeting for parents and kids.

Interested in the joining the cohort or have questions? Reach out to us at:

Growing Hearts and Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Don’t Jewish people already have a rite of passage in bar and bar mitzvah? 

The traditional model of prayer, Torah (often accompanied by a ‘mitzvah project’) can be beautiful and powerful. (You can find rabbis and synagogues doing this work here).

This classic bar/bat mitzvah is perfect for some, while others want a different kind of experience. So Growing Hearts is open to those families who are seeking an alternative, stand-alone program and also to those currently on  the b’nai mitzvah track. 

If you and your child are seeking a  dynamic, creative, out-of-the-box experience, attend our November informational gathering to find out if Growing Hearts is for you.

Interested? Send a note to Rabbi Josh at 

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