J-Teen Leadership Co-Chairs oversee the Leadership Circle comprised of teens who want to play an active role in planning and implementing events. Skill building includes: how to run a meeting, public speaking, consensus building and implementation, advocacy and philanthropy.
Leadership positions are available to anyone who wants to take on the responsibility. J-Teen Leadership provides a platform for teens to develop the characteristics of effective leaders. Projects, meetings and conference calls are teen-led, so they can voice their opinions, listen to others, mesh ideas and create successful events.
J-Teen Leadership has an executive board (of teens), which consists of four pillars: Philanthropy and Advocacy, Local Projects, Service Trips, and Membership and Outreach. All of these pillars have chairs and vice chairs. Aside from these teams, J-Teen Leadership also has site coordinators. These positions consist of teens who are passionate about one particular site/event and help J-Teen Leadership build a strong relationship with the site. Finally, J-Teen Leadership has two major events each year, the Westchester Wide Interfaith MLK Day of Service event and J-Serve: The International Day of Jewish Youth Service. Both of these two events have chairs who organize, plan, and lead their selected event.
The teen Executive Committee oversees the Leadership Circle of teens who want to play an active role in planning and implementing events. Members of the Leadership Circle are involved in decisions about future projects, co-chairing events and leading teen committees. Teens develop confidence by participating in the planning process. Skill building includes how to run a meeting, public speaking, consensus building and implementation.
Leadership Circle participants learn how to channel their leadership abilities to advocate for a better world. Teens are empowered to be change agents in a collaborative and fun environment. By speaking at schools and synagogues and writing articles teens learn the power of their voices and discover the willingness of adults to listen to them. Israel advocacy programs give teens and alumni an opportunity to strengthen their knowledge and voices on behalf of Israel. Other advocacy initiatives included a teen-led synagogue inclusion program for the hearing-impaired and an anti-trafficking campaign.
Service Trip participants are encouraged to advocate on behalf of the people they meet on trips. By speaking at schools and synagogues, writing articles, and lobbying elected officials, teens learn the power of their voices and discover the willingness of adults to listen to them.
J-Teen Leadership empowers teens to work together for tremendous philanthropic impact. The J-Teen Leadership Duffle Bag Project is a teen-led philanthropic effort to collect supplies and donations in advance of each service trip. Teens reach out to family, friends and synagogue communities to collect needed supplies.
Additional fundraising efforts are often inspired by the problems encountered on each mission as well as in local service projects. Experiential learning brings with it the motivation to want to help alleviate societal problems. The connection of these actions to Jewish values makes it an opportunity to build a stronger commitment to our tradition.
Over the past twelve years J-Teen Leadership Philanthropy has resulted in raising over $100,000 in contributions and 50,000 pounds of supplies to people throughout the United States, Cuba and Haiti.
Get Involved! Enrollment applications for the Leadership Circle are available June-September. Members are expected to attend the fall Leadership Circle retreat, 5 of the 8 yearly Leadership Circle meetings and 4 local programs, including the MLK Day of Service and J-SERVE, the international day of Jewish Youth Service. There is a $180 membership fee to join.