Skip Navigation
September 2, 2015 | 18th Elul 5775

Serving Our Youth: February 2010

February 18, 2010 / 4 Adar, 5770

This newsletter will provide information and resources for Jewish professionals and lay leaders working with youth in our affiliated URJ Congregations.

The New URJ
2009 was a historic time for the URJ. A bold new reorganization plan was launched whose intent is to streamline and improve the service to our member congregations. Among the innovations in our new model, the URJ has engaged a talented group of specialists in a variety of areas important to congregational life.

Meet the Youth Specialists

They are here to assist you with:

  • retaining and engaging post b'nei mitzvah youth in Jewish life
  • building Youth Committees
  • addressing teen issues in the congregation
  • youth advisor hiring
  • GLBTQ issues as they relate to youth
  • adolescent relationships and sexuality
  • developing lay leadership awareness and action steps for youth related issues

Not sure which Youth Specialist to contact? Contact Craig Rosen and he will direct your inquiry to the appropriate specialist.


Webinars are free, live web presentations that allow you to learn from experts in a variety of areas of importance to youth. 

URJ Webinar Archives
Webinars can also be accessed afterwards through the URJ webinar archives. Some of the webinars that are now archived include: Youth Worker 101 – what you need to know for a successful year and Sacred Choices Training for facilitators of the Middle School and High School curriculum.

Strengthening Your Youth Committee
Wednesday, February 24 at 12 EST.

This Webinar will focus on variety of issues including: Structure of the Youth Committee, Roles and Responsibilities of a Youth Committee, Budgeting, Developing Policies, Promoting Youth in your Congregation and Advisor Training and Support. The webinar will be facilitated by Margie Bogdanow, LICSW, Youth Specialist.

Youth Committee Listserv
If you are a part of a Congregational Youth Committee and would like to dialogue with others in an online forum, please subscribe. This listserv is a place to post questions and concerns to others in similar situations and to share answers and feedback with one another as well.

Congregational Youth Volunteers Leaders Affinity Group
Share your successes, concerns, ideas and questions for creating, sustaining, and overseeing the quality, scope and curriculum of your synagogue’s total youth program in our Congregational Youth Volunteer Leaders affinity group. It is our intention to convene this affinity group at an upcoming district gathering this coming year.

News and Information from the URJ Youth Department “It’s time. NFTY is amazing, creating a values-based, Jewish community in which teens can be themselves. But we also have work to do. Too many Reform Jewish teens walk through our doors one time and choose not to return. And thousands of Reform Jewish teens never even walk through our doors. It’s not that NFTY is perfect for every Reform Jew, rather NFTY is right for many more high school students than we currently attract. With our teen leaders, dedicated staff and network of thoughtful professionals, parents and alumni, NFTY should and could be making a positive difference in even more lives. And that could have an even greater’s time.”
Rabbi Mike Mellen – Director of NFTY
NFTY Strategic Plan
NFTY is now conducting an online survey to identify trends and assess the needs of thousands of teens, parents, and youth professionals. It’s an exciting time in our history and we expect to analyze and share these results in the coming months. Frequent updates and NFTY news can be found on our website

URJ Camps Six Points Sports Academy
The URJ camps are busy getting ready for the opening of our thirteenth camp. Located on the campus of the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina, our newest camp will be a site for high-caliber athletic training combined with the best in Reform Jewish camping. So if you know of 4th - 11th graders who love sports, help us spread the word about Six Points by hosting a parlor meeting in your home for potential campers and their families. Six Points will cover the cost of refreshments and give you a referral fee for each camp family who signs up! Kutz Camp's 45th Anniversary
For the past forty-five years, Kutz has served as the summer home of NFTY, providing a total immersion leadership experience for Jewish teens from North America and around the world. Spread the word now to your high-school teens: registration for Kutz is live! Kutz is the place for engaged Jewish teens to spend the summer developing leadership skills, learning about their Judaism, spending time outdoors, learning new music, and having fun while forging lifelong friendships.
URJ Camp Funding
Speaking of camp, we want as many families as possible to know that first-time campers at a URJ Camp are automatically eligible for significant funding from the Foundation for Jewish Camp. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the One Happy Camper initiative, which offers families grants of $1,000 or more to help offset the cost of camp! These grants are available for campers at all thirteen of our camps. More information and eligibility requirements can be found at
Join us on Facebook for the most recent news, photos, and event updates!

URJ-Israel Programs

Since 1958 the Reform Movement has sponsored dynamic Israel programs for young people from our congregations. To date, over 35,000 people have traveled to Israel under our supervision. Our aim is to create a transformative, healthy environment in which where involved Jewish teens, college students and young adults can experience Israel through the prism of our Movement. We have a well-deserved reputation for providing the highest standard of health, safety and security in all of our programs. NFTY in Israel
Over 550 teens already have registered for our summer programs. It is the highest registration as of this date in 10 years. This summer’s offerings are:
  • NFTY Adventure – 4 weeks in Israel
  • NFTY L’Dor V’Dor – 1 week in Prague, Krakow and Warsaw followed by 4 weeks in Israel
  • NFTY Ole – 1 week in Spain followed by 4 weeks in Israel, Mitzvah Corps Israel – 4 weeks of direct service social action while traveling the land of Israel and giving back to the Jewish State
  • NFTY-EIE Summer Session – 6 ½ weeks of Jewish history and Hebrew study for high school academic credit while using the land of Israel as your living classroom.
KESHER Birthright Trip
KESHER Birthright is available for Jews 18-26 (before your 27th birthday), who have never been to Israel before on a peer educational program. Registration for the Spring/Summer 2010 programs begins on February 17th at noon EST.
The Netzer Year
In partnership with Netzer Olami the URJ Israel Education Department sponsors a gap-year program for high school graduates. Pre-college students can spend 8 months living and learning in Israel on the Netzer Year.
Tikkun Olam-Tel Aviv
College graduates committed to pluralism, social justice, Jewish learning and Hebrew study should take a look at Tikkun Olam-Tel Aviv. Working with Bina a liberal non-denominational yeshiva and the Ruth Daniel Community Center both based in Jaffa, participants will be engaged in true social justice as they work with the Arab Israeli community in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa area. Participants can choose a 5 or 10 month program. Tikkun Olam-Tel Aviv participants are eligible to receive a grant from MASA which can make it be as inexpensive as $1,000 for 10 months.For more information about these or any other URJ sponsored program in Israel visit Information for this newsletter is gathered by Craig Rosen, URJ Youth Specialist and edited by the URJ Communications Department

© Union for Reform Judaism
(212) 650-4000


To unsubscribe from this e-mail, please send a note to Please know that the Union for Reform Judaism does not sell, market or distribute e-mail addresses (see the privacy policy at

Comments left on this website are monitored. By posting a comment you are in agreement with Terms & Conditions.

URJ logo

Donate Now



Multimedia Icon Multimedia:  Photos  |  Videos  |  Podcasts  |  Webinars
Bookmark and Share About Us  |  Careers  |  Privacy Policy
Copyright Union for Reform Judaism 2015.  All Rights Reserved