youth group

youth group

Teen leaders at a Reform Jewish teen gathering

Check out these six ongoing practices of Reform Jewish teen leaders – and how you can use them to support teens in your own community.

Michelle Shapiro Abraham, MAJE, RJE
Rabbi Allan "Smitty" Smith on the bimah at Biennial

With the death of Rabbi Allan Smith – “Smitty” to all who knew and loved him – the Reform Jewish world has lost a true giant.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
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
    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

    When teens at a regional NFTY event ask when you are going to repeat the program they just attended, you must be doing something right. Coming out of the program, it was clear that they were happy –  happy because they were fully engaged, had fun, and because along the way, they learned something about themselves, their peers, their identity and their heritage.

    Jeanette Brod Lazer
    Four smiling, laughing teens passing a Torah scroll from one to the next

    Results of our latest impact study indicate that Reform Movement youth experiences translate into greater Jewish engagement in college and throughout life.

    Miriam T. Chilton
    Posed group of smiling Jewish and Muslim teens

    We encounter a world with increasing acts of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. If we can just learn to speak to one another, to appreciate our similarities and understand our differences, we might be able to make this world a better place.

    Rabbi Paul Jacobson

    These nine guiding principles to engage youth were developed by numerous congregations and synagogue professionals in our collaborative work with them. We share them with congregations and use them to inform our own ongoing efforts to develop new camps and year-round programming.

    Michelle Shapiro Abraham and Miriam Chilton