J-Teen Leadership gives Jewish high school students a platform for service on their own terms. Our teens come together from all backgrounds and get involved for different reasons:
- Help others and make a difference
- Concern about a pressing issue
- Continued passion developed from bar/bat mitzvah service project
- Meet new friends and do good in the process
- Earn community service hours for school
- Build leadership skills
- Make a philanthropic impact
- Have straight-up FUN!
You can get your teen involved by having them register for upcoming programs. You and your teen can come to our Tikkun Olam Awards end of year celebration to see our teen leaders reflect on what they have accomplished together and their personal growth. You can donate so that more teens can participate in our programs, or you can help as a parent leader by joining our Parent Advisory Board.
- My Child’s Busy Schedule
One of the best parts of J-Teen Leadership is that it fits the schedule of busy high school students. Teens can simply register for a Sunday service project for a couple of hours. At the end of each project, teens receive a community service certificate (particularly important for students whose schools track service hours).The next step is to serve on a planning committee to learn what it takes to create a successful event. Serving in the J-Teen Leadership Circle provides the opportunity to give input on project and trip planning. Event Chairs are members of the Leadership Circle who have worked on projects with J-Teen Leadership.
Understanding the numerous time commitments of teens, most project planning is conducted by short evening conference calls. After an initial face-to-face planning meeting, teens check-in by phone. The J-Teen Leadership Coach helps teen chairs and committees stay on track.
- Service Trips
In addition to projects in our local area, J-Teen Leadership sponsors hands-on service trips in the US and beyond where there are pressing needs. Immersive service trips allow teens to connect more deeply to the people they are working with and to one another. Some service trips are for teens only while others include parents. The parent-child service trips have tremendous impact on all. Don’t miss out on this meaningful parent-teen opportunity.
- Teen Voice
The underlying premise of J-Teen Leadership is that teens have the ability to be leaders and make an impact today. Adult mentors provide a framework to encourage teens to use their voices and find common ground. Teens develop their ability to express opinions, share ideas, speak publicly, and advocate for those who can’t speak on their own. It is amazing what young adults can do together.
- What is the “J” in J-Teen Leadership?
J-Teen Leadership was created by teens looking for a way to connect to other Jewish teens who share their values of helping others. From a small nucleus of teens, the program has grown to include many from different high schools, synagogues and communities. J-Teen Leadership has a welcoming culture. Friends are invited to attend but when someone comes alone, the teens make you feel welcome. Dietary laws are observed, creating an inclusive environment.
- My child has little Jewish background
If your child is willing to dig in to help others, then they are prepared for J-Teen Leadership. The desire to help improve the world is the meaning of tikkun olam. J-Teen Leadership’s curriculum connects teens to Jewish values related to the work they are doing.
- My teen is already involved at my synagogue
Teens are encouraged to have multiple Jewish involvements. Those who are actively involved in their local Jewish community may benefit from our leadership programs and service trips. They can represent their synagogue on a larger community-wide initiative. Numerous youth group presidents have participated in J-Teen Leadership and have become stronger leaders in the process.
- What’s my role as a parent?
Congratulations, you are an adult ally. An adult ally is someone who helps teens find their inner voice and their way to make a difference. We work hard to communicate with parents about registration and upcoming projects. Consider going with your son/daughter on an immersive service trip. The opportunity to share an experience like this with your child is transformative.
- Does participation in J-Teen Leadership help with college?
Teens involved with J-Teen Leadership acquire skills that help them contribute to student life on campus. Colleges look for students who demonstrate leadership abilities and who spend time volunteering locally in their own community. J-Teen Leadership provides community service certificates for teens who participate in service projects. Read comments from our Alumni.
- How does my child apply for a scholarship?
Our goal is to enable any Jewish teen who wants to participate to do so. Through the generosity of our community we have funds available for need-based scholarships. Please call Guy Felixbrodt, Executive Director, at (914) 385-2132 for more information.