Skip Navigation
October 10, 2015 | 27th Tishrei 5776

Serving Our Youth: October 2010

Serving Our Youth
Website | Subscribe | Donate October 26, 2010 / 18 Cheshvan, 5771

From the Union Youth Specialists

> Teen Engagement
> Webinars
> NFTY and Youth Programs
> Israel Programs
> Camps

We hope your year is off to a great start and that your youth programming thus far has been successful. There has been much happening in our world in the past few months and we want to be sure you have tools to address some of the issues.

In response to the media attention surrounding bullying, the Union has gathered resources for you to use with your teens. We thank Melissa Frey, Kutz Camp Director and NFTY Associate Director, for all her work in making sure that this topic is front and center on NFTY's radar. Please take time to visit Living NFTY: Bullying. In this resource, NFTY responds to bullying, teasing and harassment with articles, websites and programmatic resources for you, your TYG and your community.

Registration is now open for the Youth Workers Conference taking place in February 2011 in Dallas, TX. We hope that you can join us for an amazing opportunity to learn from and with other youth workers from throughout North America! We will be at the conference and able to offer you on-site consultations as well. Follow the link below for more details. See y'all there!

For more information or assistance contact one of our Youth Specialists:

Margie Bogdanow


Craig Rosen


Rabbi Laura Novak Winer


Teen Engagement Network

We are very excited to let you know that we have renamed and refocused our Networking Group. As you may know, The Campaign for Teen Engagement is a major focus of the Union at this time. The new Teen Engagement Networking Group is designed for all those who are involved with middle and high school youth in their communities and are seeking ways to further engage them. By joining this Networking Group you will be part of our listserv and will be able to participate in a variety of discussions about teen engagement. You will have the opportunity to share your successes, concerns, ideas and questions as well as learn from one another. Conference calls, webinars and face to face meetings may also be offered. To join the group, go to Networking Groups on the Union website

The Networking Group will be programming a learning track at the North American Forum April 8-10, 2011 in Boston. Please save the date and join us there! Details will be forthcoming over the next few months. Register now to receive notification when more information becomes available.


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

A Tour of Our URJ Youth Programs – November 10, 2010, 2 PM EST
Presenters: Margie Bogdanow and Craig Rosen, Youth Specialists
Learn about the variety of programs that the Union offers for teens so that you can help the teens in your congregation find a program that is right for them.

Cyberbullying & Sexting - How Can We Respond and What Can We Do To Prevent It? – December 2, 2010, 2 PM EST
Presenters: Rabbi Laura Novak Winer, Senior Consultant & Teen Engagement Specialist, Craig Rosen, Youth Specialist, Melissa Frey, Kutz Camp Director and NFTY Associate Director and education staff from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
With technology being so prevalent in our lives, it's become much easier for our teens to harass one another through electronic media. Nearly half of all US teens have been affected by cyberbullying. We will discus these topics and give you ideas on what you can do in your congregation to help educate about and combat these serious problems.

Union Webinar Archives
Webinars can also be accessed afterwards through the Union webinar archives. Some of the webinars that are now archived include: Youth Worker 101 – What You Need to Know for a Successful Year, Strengthening Your Youth Committee, Integrating Youth Professionals into Your Community, What Does a "Youth Friendly" Congregation Look Like, and Sacred Choices Training for Facilitators of the Middle School and High School Curriculum.

What's New in the Union's NFTY and Youth Programs

NFTY Convention 2011
Encourage your teens to register before November 16th to take advantage of our early bird rate! Your teens will spend five days in Dallas connecting, learning and having fun with other Reform Jewish teens across the country. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available from NFTY, with preference being given to applicants receiving scholarship dollars from other sources, including their home congregation. The deadline to apply for a scholarship from NFTY is November 1, 2010.

Youth Workers Conference 2011
Register before November 16th to take advantage of our early bird rate! Spend five days in Dallas learning, networking and sharing ideas with youth workers, clergy and lay leaders from across North America. The conference will provide attendees meaningful learning experiences and a community in which to share best practices and program ideas, as well as opportunities to connect with teens from their congregation through joint programs with NFTY Convention delegates. Speakers and Artists include Dan Nichols, Rabbi Paul Yedwab, David Bryfman, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, Rabbi Mike Mellen, Rabbi Laura Novak Winer, Craig Rosen, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, and Lila Foldes.

NFTY Regional Event Calendar 2010-2011
Find a list of upcoming NFTY Regional Events across North America. Not sure which region your congregation is a part of? View NFTY's Regional Map. NFTY's regional programs bring youth groups from across the region together for Jewish enrichment and hands-on experiential programming.

Join NFTY on Facebook
"Like" NFTY's page on Facebook so you can receive "up to the minute" NFTY news!

19 in 18 Tour
Follow Kutz Camp Director and NFTY Associate Director Melissa Frey on her travels to all of our 19 NFTY regions in only 18 weeks this fall. She will be joined by members of the NFTY North American Board, NFTY and Kutz staff, and other special guests along the way. She will be meeting with teens, youth professionals and clergy to gather a collection of stories about the affect of NFTY and Kutz. Melissa will be posting regular blog entries, photos and updates from the sky and on the ground on as she works her way throughout all of NFTY. Photos from the 19 in 18 Tour are on Melissa's Facebook page, and are public to all viewers.

Union Israel Programs

The Israel Education Department of the Union for Reform Judaism is constantly striving to provide the best Israel programs for our young people. Currently, there are six different programs that serve our community.

  • NFTY in Israel
  • NFTY-EIE High School in Israel
  • Taglit – Birthright Israel KESHER Trip
  • Netzer Year
  • Tikkun Olam
  • Kibbutz Lotan Long-Term Programs for College Graduates

Annually, nearly 1,500 young people ages 15-30 travel with the Reform Movement to Israel to strengthen their Jewish identity, build Jewish life skills and make new friends. For more information about these programs visit

NFTY in Israel
Under the auspices of NFTY in Israel, during the summer of 2011 the traditional menu of program options is:

  • NFTY Adventure – 4 weeks traveling in Israel
  • NFTY L'Dor V'Dor – 1 week in Eastern Europe followed by 4 weeks traveling in Israel
  • NFTY Olé – 1 week in Spain followed by 4 weeks traveling in Israel
  • NFTY-EIE Summer Session – 6 ½ weeks of academic study based on the campus of the NFTY-EIE High School in Israel on Kibbutz Tzuba

Also, in the summer of 2011, NFTY in Israel will offer 2 new programs:

  • JewGlee – 5 weeks in Europe and Israel with a teen traveling chorus
  • Israel in a Special Way – 3 weeks in Israel for teens with special needs

Registration for the 2011 summer will begin in November of 2010.

KESHER Birthright Trip
This winter the Union has been allocated 14 buses for our KESHER Birthright trips. Through continued recruitment efforts and direct outreach to Reform Movement synagogue professionals, 560 young adults will travel to Israel with KESHER and Taglit-Birthright Israel. During the calendar year 2010 nearly 1,250 young adults have or will travel on KESHER Birthright Israel trips.

URJ Camps

Kutz Camp Update
Although autumn has certainly arrived in Warwick, NY, the palpable sense of excitement coming from our 45th summer celebration still resonates profoundly. Hundreds of alumni from each Kutz Camp generation gathered in August to celebrate together and to re-create the soundtrack of our collective experiences. Many talented musicians and performers helped to make our celebration complete. Our summer 2011 dates have been set and we look forward to welcoming another 300+ teens, staff and faculty home to Kutz Camp June 26-July 19, 2011. For information about camp, please visit us online at

Summer 2011 at the URJ Camps
Starting in the fall, we'll be moving into our recruiting season, and look forward to reaching out to Reform Jewish youth across the continent. Most of our camps are nearly 80% full by December – let us help you get your kids to camp! We invite you to be in touch with your regional camp, Kutz or 6 Points to discuss ways to connect your congregation's kids with camp.

You and your youth can always visit for more information on our camps and specialty programs, staff opportunities, news updates, research and more!

Support Reform JudaismJoin us on Facebook!Follow us on Twitter!

© Union for Reform Judaism
633 Third Avenue • New York, NY • 10017

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