Thoughts From the Field: Effective Strategies for Educating and Engaging Jewish Teens

By on June 4th, 2013

The Jim Joseph Foundation's March 2013 report, Effective Strategies for Educating and Engaging Jewish Teens, examines and compares the work of twenty-one respected programs serving young people both inside and outside the Jewish world. The study was developed to help inform the Jewish community's collective thinking about community-based Jewish learning experiences offered to teens.

The following pieces ran originally in a series for eJewishPhilanthropy. A variety of stakeholders - including funders, practitioners, a teen education expert and teens - offered their perspectives on the findings of the research report, advancing a conversation about ways to dramatically expand and strengthen community-based Jewish teen education and engagement.

From A Teen Education Expert

Reflections on “Effective Strategies for Educating and Engaging Jewish Teens”
Jeffrey S. Kress, Associate Professor of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary

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From Practitioners

A Response to Effective Strategies for Educating and Engaging Jewish Teens
Matthew Grossman, BBYO

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Reactions to Jim Joseph Foundation’s Teen Report
Robyn Faintich, JewishGPS

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Keeping the Needs of Jewish Teen Girls on the Agenda
Rabbi Ellen Flax, The Hadassah Foundation

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Staying Present: Adult Mentors are Essential to Teens’ Lives and to Effective Jewish Teen Engagement
Deborah Meyer, Moving Traditions

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From Teens

Making the “Jewish” Choice Their Choice
Asher Kinyon

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Shaping My Jewish Identity
Zoe Kress

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Thinking Like a Teen
Sylvee Legge

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Why a Sense of Community Matters for Jewish Teens
Lucas Lendenbaum

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Find one Jewish Teen; Others Will Follow
Allison Luton

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From Funders

Toward a Teen-Centered Jewish Future
Lisa Farber Miller with Samantha Hea, Rose Community Foundation

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Rethinking Our Communal Approach to Jewish Teen Education
Josh Miller, Jim Joseph Foundation

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Responses to the Report and the eJP Series

The School Twinning Program As A Way of Engaging Teens
Ahuva Ron, Senior Education Director at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

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Teens, Community, and Artistic Passion: a Successful Formula for Ongoing Engagement
Matthew Lazar, Founder and Director of the Zamir Choral Foundation and founder of HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Choir

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I Have Met the Enemy of Jewish Teen Engagement and It Is US
Billy Planer, Founder and Director of Etgar 36

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Needed: Adult Mentors, Models for Youth Participation and a Pipeline of Youth Professionals
Rabbi Bradley Solmsen, Director of Youth Engagement for the Union for Reform Judaism

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The Kids Still Sing and Dance
Rabbi Dave Levy, Director of Teen Learning for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

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Using the ATM to Bring Teens into Temple
Paul Kipnes, Rabbi of Congregation Or Ami, Calabasas, California

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The Jim Joseph Foundation invests in promising Jewish education grant initiatives. We partner with effective organizations that seek to inspire young people to discover the joy of living vibrant Jewish lives.