Posts Tagged: Teens

At URJ Summer Youth Programs, the Heat is On!



As I write this, more than 12,000 youth, teens, college students, and young adults are participating in our summer programs. Our diverse summer line-up includes the URJ Camps, NFTY in Israel trips, NFTY-EIE High School in Israel, RAC Machon Kaplan college internship program and KESHER Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. Staffing these programs are more than 1,000 […]

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Building a Jewish Identity One Nail at a Time



by Neil Z. Platt Some recent efforts at our congregation put a new twist on the old saying “Build it and they will come.”  At Congregation Beth Shalom, our saying is “Fix it and they will come.” Located in the middle of the Texas Bible Belt, we have been the center of Jewish life and […]

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For Everything There is a Season



As an educator…it’s all about relationships; it’s all about being social.

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Mazal Tov to the 2013 Bronfman Youth Fellows!



The prestigious Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel recently announced the names of its 2013 fellows, a cohort of North American Jewish teens entering their senior year of high school. Through an intensive year of seminars and a robust alumni community, the fellowship offer teens from diverse Jewish backgrounds with an unparalleled leadership experience. The fellowship […]

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D’var Torah of Awesome: MC New Orleans Engages With Congregation Gates of Prayer



To quote a piece of text from this week’s portion, “These were the marches of the Israelites who started out from the land of Egypt, troop by troop.” Well, these past two weeks have been our march. Starting out from all over the country, step by step, taking part in tikkun olam.

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Kutz Staff Takes Action



by Elan Kramer Cultural exchange provides an opportunity both for Americans to be educated about foreign countries and customs, and for people from around the world to learn more about America and to acquire American values to transmit back home. Kutz provides a unique opportunity for youth to engage in important and educational cultural exchange. […]

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The Ice Cream Cone Approach to Youth Engagement



Recently, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of stories and photos of campers and counselors getting ready for their return to camp, their trip to Israel or their adventure with a service-learning program. I am so happy for all them. They are following a path that we, in the professional Jewish world, have […]

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Welcoming the Stranger: Just How Open Should Our Jewish Teen Programming Tent Be?



by Ira Miller I was interested to read Billy Planer’s blog post “I Have Met The Enemy of Jewish Teen Engagement and It Is US” and the conversation it has inspired. I’ve known Billy for years and have always been impressed with his work and the incredible programs he runs, including Etgar 36. Billy makes […]

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I’m Home



by Sarah Braslow I have spent the last six summers here at Jacobs Camp. I spent three summers as a camper; one summer in the Camp’s staff-in-training program (now called Gesher), and two wonderful summers as a counselor. Now, as my seventh summer gets rolling, I have taken on a new role –  something I […]

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Living the Jewish Value of Being “Guardians of the Earth” at Camp Harlam



It was just two short summers ago that URJ Camp Harlam had a teensy little garden. It was a sweet plot of land with some colorful perennials and herbs for Havdalah, plus a few rows of juicy tomato plants and other green veggies basking in the summer sun. But this summer we decided to put […]

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Observations from a Bar Mitzvah Family Meeting in Columbus



by Rabbi Misha Zinkow It was evident to me when I sat down with the Greens that Isaac was not a happy camper. I’ve known him since he was about 4; he’s a great kid, an upbeat and cheerful child, and the son of communally-active and highly engaged parents. So an unhappy face on this […]

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Facing the Worst-Kept Synagogue Secret



Do you want to know the worst-kept synagogue secret? It is not about politics at the pulpit or the fact that most Jews do not regularly attend Shabbat services. No, the worst-kept synagogue secret is that almost 90% of the young people who become bar or bat mitzvah in our synagogues are absent from our […]

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NFTY Mitzvah Day Through My Own Foundation



On NFTY Mitzvah Day, NFTYites volunteered to pick up trash, donate useful items and walk for a cause that has effected themselves or a loved one. For one NFTY Southwest teen, NFTY Mitzvah Day volunteered with his very own literacy foundation.

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Finding Openness and Acceptance in NFTY



Jenn found that NFTY helped her realize that her voice and opinions were valued – things you don’t always find in high school. Jenn took that acceptance and became an outspoken advocate for equality and LGBT rights.

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