The Irvie Fox Hollenberg Teen Engagement Programs:
The High School Jewish Club: The Jewish Club provides an opportunity for students to meet during their lunch break and enjoy a Q&A session with Rabbi Yale, while munching on delicious kosher pizza. Teens can connect, socialize and get to know each other in comfortable environment. We know teens are extremely busy–so we bring Jewish experiences to you, on your turf!
Let’s Do Coffee: For teens looking for a personal chat with a rabbi, Rabbi Yale is available for one-on-one meetings at a location of your choice. Whether you have questions about Judaism or just want to shmooze, don’t be a stranger!
Holiday Programs: Jewish holidays are a way to connect with our Jewishness from time to time in a special way. In addition to bringing the holiday spirit to the high schools–such as offering donuts and latkes on Chanukah, a Matzah Factory before Pesach, or Pre-Rosh Hashana Shofar Factory–we encourage teens to take on a leading role in planning and organizing holiday events and celebrations for teens off campus.In addition, teens are encouraged to volunteer at community holiday events, such as the Grand Menorah Lighting off Burlingame Avenue, Purim carnivals, and Shavuot ice cream parties.
In-Depth Study: We offer JLI Teens, which provides advanced Jewish involvement for teens by challenging them to incorporate Jewish thought into their everyday life. Each series–with titles like “Social Justice & Judaism,” “Superjew: The Miracle of Jewish Survival,” “OMG! The Battle Between Faith & Logic”–incorporates ethics, philosophy, faith, history, community service, current events, and textual studies.
Kesher, which means “connection” in Hebrew, is an innovative new program that introduces incoming Jewish students to older students at the high schools. Older (big brother/big sister) teens will welcome the teens, show them around, introduce them to the Jewish clubs and programs and be there to support the rookies as they acclimate to a new and daunting world. We partner with local schools, such as Wornick Jewish Day School, to pair incoming students with current students.
Shabbat Retreat & Dinners:
One of the secrets of Jewish survival is the Shabbat. Once a week, we press pause and reconnect with our roots, and thus ourselves. The highlight of Shabbat is the Friday night dinner. Dressed in our finest, we gather round a festive table for Kiddush prayer, loaves of Challah, and of course chicken soup with matzah balls. In addition to inviting teens for Shabbat dinners, we have the teens plan, prepare and cook for these fun, inspiring Shabbat events.
We also host an annual Teen Shabbat Retreat, which provides teens an immersive opportunity to experience Judaism with friends.
Once a year, we join teens around the world for a Shabbat in NYC. Join thousands of teens from over 100 communities around the world for fun-filled and meaningful weekend. This past year, we a Havdalah ceremony in Times Square that featured a surprise concert by British hit songwriter and singer Alex Clare, and a special message for youth broadcast on a giant Jumbatron display.