An emblem signifies the hard work a Scout goes through to learn about his religion and its customs. The National Jewish Committee on Scouting has developed a program of religious emblems as a unified, graduated program that teaches Judaism in age-appropriate increments.
Ner Tamid Religious Emblem
For Jewish Boy Scouts and Venturers, grades 6–9
The Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) program will help you grow spiritually. It will aid you to practice duty to God, to be reverent, and to be faithful in your religious duties.
As a Scout, you may work on the Ner Tamid program whether your unit is connected with your own synagogue, community center, school, or with some other organization. You carry on your Scout program in your troop while you fulfill the Ner Tamid requirements under the guidance of your rabbi or Ner Tamid counselor. If you live in a small or isolated Jewish community, contact the National Jewish Committee on Scouting for assistance.
To Earn the Ner Tamid Emblem
- Download and fill out the application. Scouts and Venturers who have completed the 9th grade may still earn the Ner Tamid emblem, but only if they concurrently earn the Etz Chaim emblem for older Jewish Scouts, Venturers and Explorers.
- Get in touch with your rabbi (or religious school teacher) and discuss the requirements and request that he or she serve as your Ner Tamid counselor. If you do not live near a synagogue that has a rabbi, contact the National Jewish Committee on Scouting to obtain a counselor.
- Download the requirements and workbook, where you will find a list of books to help you tackle the requirements. You can find most of these books in your synagogue library or online. Resources can be sent to you if you have no access to necessary materials. Please keep a neat record of all your work in a notebook that you can review with your counselor.
- As you fulfill the requirements, put a circle around the number of each one you complete. From time to time, ask your counselor to check your knowledge of the requirements. He or she will initial each section as you complete it.
- When all requirements have been completed to the satisfaction of your counselor, take this application to your local council service center for approval.
- Your counselor will then mail the certification and order form to P.R.A.Y. Your Ner Tamid emblem will be presented to you at an occasion like Scout Sabbath, Chanukah, your Bar Mitzvah or Confirmation.
Etz Chaim Religious Emblem
For Jewish Boy Scouts and Venturers (co-ed), grades 9–12
The Etz Chaim (Tree of Life) religious emblem is designed for Boy Scouts in high school, ages 14 to 17, and registered Venturers, the co-ed program administered by the Boy Scouts of America and the only one that may be earned by a female, ages 14 to 20. This emblem encourages young adults to explore adult Jewish roles in the context of family, community, and Jewish people. The requirements can be completed in six months and with a counselor’s assistance.
When you and your counselor agree that you have successfully completed the requirements, download and submit the completed application to your local Jewish committee on Scouting or your local council service center. The emblem will be presented to you at an appropriate public ceremony in consultation with your unit leaders and your family.
Selecting a Counselor
Select an adult who has a working knowledge of Jewish traditions and culture to provide guidance such as a rabbi, Jewish schoolteacher, Jewish Community Center executive, or Jewish youth group adviser. Your local Jewish committee on Scouting or the National Jewish Committee on Scouting can assist you in locating and selecting a counselor.
Meet with your counselor to review the requirements and to determine how often you should both meet. If your counselor has any questions about the requirements, contact the National Jewish Committee on Scouting. If you and your counselor decide that you are unable to complete a requirement because the resources necessary are not available in your community, you may contact the National Jewish Committee on Scouting for a substitute or alternative activity.
Keep a notebook of all the information you collect while completing the requirements for this award. You and your counselor will want to review it, and you might need it to complete the last requirement.