Why Join a Youth Group at Temple Beth Torah??
Youth Group Goals
- Instill Jewish Identity
- Increase Synagogue Participation among High School Youth
- Foster Long-term Commitment to the Ideals and Values of Reform Judaism
- Create Today the Reform Jewish Congregants of Tomorrow
Values and Commitments to the Youth of Temple Beth Torah…
Chinuch: Jewish Education
The Youth Group is committed to providing the teens of Temple Beth Torah with a solid foundation of Jewish information necessary to help them make informed Jewish decisions. What rituals will they observe? What is their connection to Israel ? What values will they espouse and pass on to their children? We strive to make Jewish learning both accessible and enjoyable through experiential informal Jewish education. Programs are researched, prepared, and executed by NFTY leaders under the guidance of the Youth Director and Youth Committee, with help from the Education Director, Rabbi, and Cantor.
We want our young people to have meaningful experiences for living and praying Jewishly. We help young people find their connection to God and the role that faith can play in their lives. Worship services are unique for Reform Jewish teenagers in setting, style, and choice of music.
Tikkun Olam: Religious Action
Youth Groups recognize that young people are extremely concerned about the fate of the world in which they live. Commitment to Tikkun Olam-repairing the world-has always been a major component of the Youth Group experience. Through community service, speaking, lobbying, and rallying on current domestic or foreign political issues, teens remain committed to learning, caring and making a difference in the world.
Manhigut: Leadership Development
In order to create the Reform Jewish leadership of tomorrow, Youth Groups foster the Reform Jewish Youth Leadership of today. Through a variety of elected and appointed positions from the youth group level up to the North American level, teens acquire leadership skills through peer-led programming, taking stands at general board meetings, and networking. Adult advisors serve as role-models and guides in these endeavors.
K’hilah K’doshah: Reform Jewish Community
Youth Groups create a holy Jewish community in which teens feel a sense of belonging, friendship, safety, and purpose. Through local, regional, and North American events, teens experience a meaningful Jewish community where each person is considered made b‘tzelem Elohim-in the image of God.
Hitpatchut: Personal Growth and Ethics
Through Jewish community, adult Reform Jewish mentorship, leadership development, Jewish study, social action, and spiritual exploration, Youth Groups aim to give Reform Jewish youth the ethical tools to make decisions in their day-to-day lives.
Am Yisrael: The Jewish People
NFTY, our Youth Group’s umbrella organization, is part of a larger Reform Jewish and Jewish picture. NFTY is a snif (branch) of Netzer Olami (Noar Tzioni Reformi), the international Reform Zionist youth movement. Being a member of our Youth Group also means being a member of NFTY, which also means being an active Jew, whether through study, dialogue, or action.
Eretz v’M’dinat Yisrael: The Land and State of Israel
NFTY is the official Youth Movement of ARZA, Association of Reform Zionists of America. NFTYites actively engage in its support of the State of Israel through study, action, summer trips, and our EIE High School Semester in Israel program.
Temple Beth Torah is proud to offer both Junior and Senior youth groups for 6th,7th and 8th grade and 9th – 12th grade respectively. Our youth groups are affiliated with the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), the umbrella organization for youth groups serving the Reform Movement. The purpose is to provide temple youth with a place to socialize with other area teens, teens from the Southern Tropical Region (NFTY-STR) and also to practice and act on the tenets of our faith. Additionally, our Youth Committee works with and plans programs for Kindergarten through 5th grade and reaches out to our college students.
Upcoming Youth Group Events are posted directly to our youth group members and appear on the EVENTS section of the website.
Some of our activities include:
- Organizing, writing and participating in the youth group service
- Attending Overnight lock-ins
- Organizing Purim carnivals
- Running Lounge nights
- Planning and participation at the annual Temple picnic
- Taking part in field trips alone and with other youth groups
- Participating in local and national events
- Working with Jewish Teen Initiative of West Palm Beach in bimonthly programs.
- Regional Kallot with Jewish youth from the NFTY-STR Region.
Fundraising events such as a Walk-a-Thon for Camp Jenny, an annual Memorial Day weekend reward for inner-city youth for their commitment to academic achievement and ethical behavior held at the URJ Camp Coleman, received outstanding support.
For more information on any youth group event contact Jessica Stein, Youth Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on any Youth Committee or K – 5th grade or college event contact Heather Portnoy or Mandy Rubenstein at email@example.com.
Programs of our Reform Movement for Jewish Teens
www.nftyeie.org – The Eisendrath International Exchange High School in Israel is the experience of a lifetime for the Reform teen. For over 40 years, the Reform Movement has been sending youth to Israel with this four-month accredited high school nestled in the Judean mountains. Our students live together, learn together and grow together as a community while exploring four thousand years of Jewish history, learning Hebrew, and coming to know Israel as their second home.
www.kutz.urjcamps.org – NFTY’s Campus for Reform Jewish Teens is the place where Reform Jewish high school teens gather from all over North America for a great summer of fun, learning and growth. Choose a track of interest. Build a program to your liking. Experience it all in a beautiful setting in upstate New York.
www.mitzvahcorps.org – Mitzvah Corps allows Reform Jewish teens to experience social action at its best. Our program combines direct hands-on involvement in communities that need the energy, dedication, and love that youth provide with programs rooted in Jewish social and ethical issues. Participants will have the chance to live communally with other teens and build their own community, while at the same time engaging in meaningful social justice work, and while having fun!
www.urj.org/youth/meitav – Targeted towards highly motivated high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, Meitav provides opportunities for study with top Reform scholars, for community with other Meitav participants, for intellectual risk taking, and for challenging oneself through social action, through self-reflection, and through examination of principles of leadership and learning.
www.urjcamps.org – Our 12 camps situated in beautiful settings across North America, enrich and transform lives by providing summer experiences that combine fun, friends, exemplary role models and an organic approach to Jewish living that strengthens Jewish identity, knowledge and values.
www.nftyisrael.org – Hike, climb, discover, and explore with new friends from across the continent. Return home with endless personal accomplishments, meaningful memories and stories you’ll never forget. NFTY programs have transformed nearly 30,000 young people by turning a spark of interest into a summer of exciting challenges, wonderful new friends, and a lifelong involvement with Judaism.
www.israelprograms.org – IsraelPrograms.org offers links to short-term Israel programs. This website is a division of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
www.masaisrael.org – MASA, meaning “journey”, is a central website for long-term Israel programs starting at age 17. MASA also provides scholarships for trip participants.
www.motl.org – THE MARCH OF THE LIVING is an international, educational program that brings Jewish teens from all over the world to Poland on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, to march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest concentration camp complex built during World War II, and then to Israel to observe Yom HaZikaron, Israel Memorial Day, and Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day. (I was a participant on this program – feel free to ask me (Jessica) for more details!)
GAP YEAR OPTIONS
www.yearinisrael.org – The Netzer Year is a unique 10-month leadership training program in Israel for recent Reform Jewish high school graduates.