Teen Engagement

Teen Engagement

Hand sin the darkness holding a candle

The Reform Jewish community faced the tragic task last week of burying our own: Among the 17 people gunned down in last Wednesday’s Parkland school shooting were Reform Jewish teens and a teacher.

Zachary Herrmann
Female teen surrounded by three younger kids

Synagogue professional need to find ways to communicate to our families that we will provide the resources to ensure their children get a Jewish education.

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer
Dana Gershon and Rabbi Jonah Pesner take a selfie with 255 Jewish teens at the Northeast Leadership Summit

I learned that I could make a change. I learned that I was needed to make a change. And I learned, above all, that I wanted to make a change.

Adam Hurwitz
Smiling teens eating apples dipped in honey

Here are four ways to strengthen your congregation by intentionally welcoming children and teens into your holiday observance.

Miriam Chilton
Headphones

Miriam Chilton discusses her experience working with a variety of teen-based youth programs for the Reform Movement and what it was like to leave the corporate sector for a career as a Jewish professional.

Young teens gathered around the bimah as they look at an open Torah scroll

Social scientists and business leaders alike encourage us to fight the focus on scarcity and instead begin with an “abundance mindset.” Here are three areas where abundance hides in Jewish engagement and education work

By Miriam Chilton and Michelle Shapiro Abraham
Concerned mom look over her teen daughters shoulder as the teen looks at the screen of her laptop

Dear Evan Hansen13 Reasons Why. Both of these shows have captured the attention and imagination of those of us who work with and treasure teens.

Dr. Betsy Stone
Teens Gesher Program

Imagine a congregational school in which the Sunday before a child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah is their last day of classes, forever. A school where classes for students in grades 8-12 are not even offered, and where previous attempts at establishing a youth group have all failed, leaving no teen-specific programs. What would happen to the congregation’s teens once they become Jewish adults? And, perhaps more immediately, what would happen to their families’ involvement?

Stefani Carlson
Large group of happy NFTY teens posing in front of the stage where a band is playing

At NFTY Convention, I spent time with the leaders of our movement, who, like all of us, feel motivated to bring our teens closer to the age-old wisdom of Torah. After spending a few days with our teens, I, too, am motivated to lead and learn with them.

Rabbi Benjamin David
Group of smiling teens together at Shabbat dinner

As a newcomer to the URJ Youth Summit at NFTY Convention, I let the experience wash right over me, taking in inspiration, sparks, and ideas as they came

Ben Pagliaro