Youth

Youth

Closeup of a persons hand resting on a mouse as they sit at a laptop with a mug of coffee nearby as if working

Keep up with changing trends, hone your skills, and add to your toolkit with the Union for Reform Judaism’s free Youth Professional Development series.

Elena Paull
Children with their arms around one another facing an outdoor bimah as at summer camp

As we continue this journey together in 2018, we look forward to your steadfast engagement, your activism, and your support.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs

We’re happy you asked! We are excited to introduce an executive summary highlighting the innovations in our field and offering questions for a guided reflection. Here’s how to use it:

Michelle Shapiro Abraham

Last week, more than 150 teen delegates joined the URJ Biennial to learn, engage, sing, dance, pray, and explore their Jewish identity at the world’s largest gathering of Reform Jews.  They brought energy and excitement to the halls of the Hynes Convention Center, and ensured that we had authentic conversations that created a multigenerational Reform Jewish experience.  Within this delegation, we had more than 85 synagogue youth group board members, 30 regional NFTY officers, and 125 alumni of our URJ Youth programs.  Read on to hear about what this group was seeking when they signed up for this event, and what they are taking away.  Know a teen who attended?  Ask them about their experience and partner with them to bring it home!

Beth Rodin
URJ VP of Youth Miriam Chilton in a red blazer in front of the URJ Biennial logo

Yes, we are doing holy work. We are imparting Jewish wisdom and knowledge. We are fostering a generation that is resilient, responsible, compassionate, joyful, and Jewish.

Miriam Chilton
Rabbi David Stern standing on stage in front of the URJ Biennial backdrop

Why is this Biennial so powerful? Because we have company. We are surrounded by thousands of Reform Jews from across North America and around the world. 

Rabbi David Stern
Bar mitzvah boy and rabbi holding a bag full of lunches

When a colleague told me guests at his daughter’s bat mitzvah would pack grains and canned goods for the homeless, I was nonplussed. His explanation changed my thinking.

Rabbi David N. Young

There’s no place like Boston in December. Sure, we love the snow and the New England charm, but the real reason we’re excited is because the 74thURJ Biennial lands in Beantown in just a few short weeks! Biennial is the largest Jewish gathering in North America, making it a hub for sharing innovation, building community, and shaping the Reform Movement’s future.

When I applied to be a part of the Youth Professional 101 Fellowship (YP101), I expected opportunities to strengthen congregational youth programming and gain valuable tools for engagement. I anticipated learning from mentors who have been working in the field for years and building a cohort of fellows that I could utilize as resources. I did not foresee however, that I would find a connection to God.

Rachel Opatowsky

Two years ago, Temple Judea in Coral Gables, FL made a dramatic shift in our K-6 religious education program. We were running a very good religious school, but we were not seeing the results we wanted in the areas of community building, positivity, or skill development. 

Beth Ellen Young