Jewish Teen Groups
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Since my younger son's Bar Mitzvah, I've been concerned about his
connection to other Jewish teens. He goes to a small school, so the
social connections are limited. Any suggestions for weekend/early
evening programs I might be able to interest him in? We're located in
The moderator put a link under your post, but I
just want to add on to that. My now in college son went to Midrasha
after his Bar MItzvah, at 13 and LOVED it. He graduated from
Midrasha this past spring, just before his HS graduation, at 18. He
bonded with a great group of kids and stayed connected to his Jewish
roots in a way that I never expected. Now, his first year of
college, his desire to be connected to Judaism comes from his own
learning and choosing and not from his parents pushing him.
They have some great classes and Diane Bernbaum, the director, is
FABULOUS. She has the energy of 3 Everready bunnies, and 100%
committment to making Midrasha work for the kids.
Lots of my friends kids are in Midrasha now and all seem happy.
It is great for some and not great for some, but I hope your son
will try it and see.
It just started in the past week or so, but I thnk you can join any
time. HOpe this helps.
You may want to consider Jewish Youth For Community Action:(510) 547-
2424 x110 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.jyca-
justice.org My daughter, now in college, enjoyed this evening and
weekend group. There is a focus on learning and understanding social
action possibilities, but it is also just a social experience and a
youth group that does meetings and outings. It is run out of Kehilla
Synagogue in Oakland, but was meeting in Berkeley, when my daughter
Jewish teen programs:
You've probably already seen the BPN archives on Midrasha, which
offers all sorts of classes in Oakland, Berkeley and Contra Costa.
In addition to their many varied subjects is Abraham's Vision(you sign
up for this through Berkeley Midrasha, but it's is a program in
itself) in which Muslim and Jewish teens learn about their own
religion and the others, then meet for dialogues and field
trips.abrahamsvision.org/home/ Another program is JYCA (Jewish Youth
for Community Action) which focuses on leadership, conflict resolution
and social issues.jyca-justice.org
Many synagogues and camps hire teens as teacher assistants or
counselors, a great way to be connected.
Consider enrolling at summer camps such as Habonim, Ramah, Young
Judea, Swig, etc.
And since a lot of instilling identity, values, etc is a very
long-term investment :) , continuing to make Jewish holidays or Shabbat
things you celebrate in your home in whatever way works for you is
another piece. Sometimes parents lose sight of that role-modeling,
especially once the bnei mitzvah is over.
My 14 year old son attends Berkeley Midrasha and really likes it. He
has developed a large circle of friends there. He is not a
particularly studious or religious kid, but is willing to go even on
Sunday morning. The classes are fun and taught by energetic and
entertaining teachers. Kids go for the social life, but get Jewish
content too. Camp Kee Tov and Tawonga in the summer have been great
sources of friendships too. His choice of high schools was based in
large part on where the kids from his Jewish activities were going.
Happy Midrasha parent
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