The teens of Temple Beth El are a fantastic group of people who are active in so many interesting things! We strive to help them find ways to connect to their Judaism and continue to develop their Jewish identity alongside all the other things that keep them so busy. We work to offer them a balance of educational, social and service opportunities through our Koolanu Teen Education program, our Madricihm volunteer program and Sababa USY, our youth group chapter.
This year we have expanded our Koolanu program to better meet the needs of our teens. Koolanu continues to offer a variety of interesting classes on Sunday mornings, covering topics such as Torah study, current events, art classes, and ethics. Sunday morning is not, however, a practical time to meet for several of our teens. With that in mind, we are now also offering teen learning opportunities at times other than Sunday morning. The classes will generally be shorter term classes (1 to 4 sessions) and will include topics like community service (learning leading to a project), preparing for the holidays, special speakers, movie screenings, cooking classes, etc. There will also be room for teens to design their own classes based on their interest (if a few people are interested in a specific topic, we will organize a class on that topic that fits into their schedule). We are also adding a Confirmation program for 10th graders. Teens may choose to participate in one or both of the Koolanu tracks. This will, hopefully, allow them to find learning opportunities that fit into their schedules.
Helping our teens maintain and even deepen their connection to their Jewish community is one of the most important things that we can do in our youth education program. Providing them with a variety of opportunities, with varying frequency and schedules will hopefully help more teens find more ways to connect and keep Judaism as an important and relevant component of their lives.
If you would like more information about our teen programs, or any of our youth learning opportunities, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the TBE School office at 585-473-1190.
Director of Youth and Family Education