by Elana Rivel, Associate Director

jteenphilly, a program of Jewish Learning Venture in partnership with JCHS Gratz, and supported by Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, empowers and gives resources to professionals from area congregations, communally based teen programs, youth groups, Jewish Day High Schools and Jewish camps to address and we hope, increase the participation of Jewish teens in formal and informal Jewish experiences.

The jteenphilly Consortium meets to network, collaborate and learn together throughout the year. This past week at our third meeting a dozen professionals shared highlights of the past year, envisioned and dreamed of new collaborations for the new year. jteenphilly awarded three micro-grants this year to support some of the collaborations among the organizations including:

  • J-Serve Philadelphia’s day of community service which brought together 12 organizations;
  • A viewing of Crossing the Line 2: Anti-Semitism on Campus being hosted by Or Ami and in partnership with 21 organizations
  • A Passover Seder hosted by the InterFaith Center of Greater Philadelphia with 2 congregational partners and 6 non-Jewish partners. The Seder was an experiential intergenerational Seder in which the Jewish participants from Walking the Walk led the Seder and shared personal stories and traditions with their non-Jewish peers and adult mentors.

jteenphilly benefitted in the last few months from two interns from Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy who chose to do their Senior Community service project with us, working to enhance the teen experience in our community. While you will hear from them directly next week about their experiences, Or Ayash and Michael Miller spent their time engaging with Consortium members, ensuring that their programs were on the jteenphilly calendar page and encouraging them to complete their entries into the Communal Directory so that teens in the area, and their parents, can have one central access point to connect with the Jewish community.

What came out of our Consortium meeting yesterday was more collaborative programming for the next academic year and a commitment to coming together to increase the social networking that is best done face-to-face. We look forward to strengthening the access point and to reaching more teens in the year to come.

Are you a professional working with teens, who wants to get involved with the Consortium? Let us know!

jteenphilly Consortium