Youth Engagement

Youth Engagement

Large group of smiling teens

I wanted to innovate and co-create a way to reimagine teen engagement and programs with my temple teens. To do so, I needed to best understand what they wanted and needed from their synagogue and Jewish community.

Jamie Collins
Campers with their arms around one another and their backs to the camera during an outdoor Shabbat service

We're celebrating more than 20,000 youth, teens, and young adults immersed in a Reform Jewish experience. Here are a few other numbers that have us excited for summer.

    Elena Paull
    Happy teens posing together at summer camp

    While your youth may physically leave the building during the summer, the sense of community you’ve built all year long will stay with them as they venture across the globe. Here are some suggestions for how to stay connected this summer.

    Elena Paull
    Group of songleaders sitting outdoors at a summer camp holding guitars and wearing all white as if on Shabbat

    With this in mind, here are the voices of two of our campers – both going on the Harlam in Israel trip this summer – on what the culture of camp has done for them. They are our songleaders and our youth group and confirmation class leaders, and they inspire our kids in so many ways.

    Rabbi Yair Robinson
    Two teens writing on a chalkboard about what NFTY means to them

    Teens are taking initiative to make sure policies – in NFTY and in our governments – reflect their values. Here are just a few examples of how they've been leading the way this year.

    Jenny Travis
    Large group of smiling teens wearing matching blue shirts that say OMGJK

    When I arrived at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation, FL, six years ago, the congregation’s junior high and high school programs were dealing with a problem that m

    Josh Simon
    A group of high school students sitting on the floor, each holding a guitar

    The URJ has launched four experiments to celebrate how teens gather and lead; the experiments' early lessons will help us deepen the impact of these endeavors.

    Michelle Shapiro Abraham
    Rabbi Rick Jacobs poses with three smiling teens in NFTY Convention badges

    This d'var Torah for Parashat T'tzaveh was presented to NFTY Convention 2019 on Saturday, February 16, 2019. 

    Rabbi Rick Jacobs
    Students from Congregation Kol Tikvah outside U.S. Capitol during L'taken weekend

    Days before the first anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings we lobbied on Capitol Hill for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.

    Zoey Fox-Snider and Casey Sherman
    Teens with their bck to the camera holding gun violence prevention signs at March for Our Lives

     One year after the tragedy, we also want to lift up the memories of the 17 people killed and encourage Reform Jews to engage in tikkun olam, repairing the world, in their honor.

    Logan Zinman Gerber