Many of us are still flying high from the recent URJ Biennial and the exciting kick-off of the Campaign for Youth Engagement. If we are to succeed, we need to all come together and make this Our Campaign. Find out how you can become involved and what you can do to engage the youth of your congregation!
You will notice a new format for the Serving Our Youth newsletter, which we hope you will share with those who are involved in youth engagement in your congregation. Weve reorganized the newsletter into sections for easy navigation of our resources, programs and news.
Heres how to learn about the Campaign for Youth Engagement (CYE):
Watch videos of the launch of the CYE at the Biennial Forum and visit the CYE webpage.
Reach out to any of our Youth Specialists or any members of the CYE Vision Team. Each and every one of them is committed to this Movement-wide effort and is eager to speak with YOU about it. If youre unsure who to contact, send an email with your questions about the CYE to firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of the URJ Youth and Education Specialists staff will be in touch with you.
Incubator Grants available for new innovative youth programming
For the second year, the URJ is offering Incubator Grants to our member congregations to allow them to DREAM BIG! URJ Incubator Grants provide seed funding for innovative new projects designed to actively engage more people in Reform synagogue life. Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to selected synagogues for fiscal year July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013. This year, a major emphasis will be placed on programs which strive to engage post-bnei mitzvah teens and their families. Grant applications are due on February 28, 2012.
CYE Pilot Projects and Planning Guide
One of the most concrete ways to get involved with the Campaign is by committing to participate in one of our pilot projects, each designed to offer an innovative way of reaching and engaging youth and families. The pilot initiatives include a national teen philanthropy project; a teen-centered community organizing effort; the new CHAI 8 and Enduring Jewish Art curricula; a virtual Jewish high school; individualized education plans for motivated teens; support for parents; and a close look at early engagement.
As you are thinking about how to strengthen your youth program, also be sure to explore the URJs Planning Guide for Teen Engagement, a resource for uncovering the unique strengths and challenges of your congregation and setting concrete goals for improvement.
Youth Professional Resources
Reform Youth Professionals Association (RYPA)
Become a member of this new professional association created especially for YOU. After nearly two years of planning, RYPA was officially launched at the URJ Biennial in December. This new organization will provide leadership, vision, community and advocacy for youth professionals from throughout North America. Join today and your membership will be valid through June of 2013. RYPA will help you stay connected to your colleagues and remain current on promising practices in youth engagement. Visit the RYPA website to join and for information about upcoming professional development webinars.
URJ KESHER Birthright Trips Be a hero, and give your high school seniors the ultimate graduation gifta free trip to Israel! As a URJ Congregational Youth Worker, you can give priority status to 18-26 year olds in your community when they register for a URJ KESHER Birthright trip!Send us the names and email addresses of any 18-26 year olds who would like to participate in a Birthright trip, and if they register for a trip with URJ KESHER, well give them priority status. Registration details are at www.gokesher.org; send all priority names and email addresses to email@example.com.
NFTY in Israel $400 Early-bird discount extended to January 15!
Spread the word to all who are considering taking part in one of our five phenomenal summer programs in Europe and Israel, including the brand new NFTYs Shir Chadash, a six week intensive choral tour of Europe and Israel, and NFTYs Bridge to Israel, a three week tour in Israel for teens with special needs.
Send your teen leaders to the NFTY Leadership Experience at Kutz Camp
Kutz offers teens in grade 10-12 a custom-made summer leadership program. Participants choose from a variety of leadership opportunities to create a summer experience that will be meaningful, challenging and fun! The Temple Youth Group leadership major is perfect for up and coming teen leaders in your congregation.
NFTY Mitzvah CorpsA Social Action Summer Mitzvah Corps teens spend two to six weeks living in a community of NFTYites engaged in hands-on social action. They will have a direct impact on communities in need at project sites in Costa Rica, San Francisco, New Orleans and New Jersey.
Machon Kaplan Social Action Summer Internship is Now Free! Deadline: February 3
As part of the URJ's CYE, the Machon Kaplan Internship, a six-week work/study internship program for college students based out of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, is FREE. From June 10-July 22, 2012, college students will experience real-world public policy work and learn about Judaism and social justice. The program provides housing and college academic credits.