TEENS ARE VITAL TO THE JEWISH COMMUNITY’S GROWTH
My mission is to help secure the future of Judaism by encouraging you to engage the teens in your community.
I hope that my blog will give you ideas, tips, and tools to use in your organizations, synagogues, and programs to engage teens in connecting with their Jewish heritage. Often, I will give get step-by-step instructions for ways to include teens in your programming. At times, you’ll also be reading about my frustration at the lack of resources provided for teens, and I’m hoping that you realize that this comes from a good place, a place of caring about our collective Jewish future. I’ve also written curricula for teenagers to help them explore Jewish texts in a way that is relevant for them.
But you came here to learn a little about me, so here is my story, but first, please let me know if I can help you or your organization in any way.
I didn’t begin my career as a Jewish educator.
I was a Career Development Consultant*, while Jewish education was ‘something I always did on the side’, often while working full-time at my “real” job. I began working in Jewish education while I was still in high school, tutoring students for their B’nai Mitzvahs. I then taught in supplementary schools while in college and beyond, and after starting a Hebrew High School program at a large suburban synagogue, was appointed the Education Director. I derived a great deal of reinforcement for my work which by this time, was a passion. So, I did what I always suggested my clients to do, and journaled extensively to decide the path my career would take, and decided to devote my career to Jewish education.
I am fortunate to have worked in many Jewish educational environments. I’ve worked in camping (17 years as camper, counselor, teacher, advisor, Assistant Director), planned service learning programs, taught and then directed one of the largest supplementary high schools in North America (15 years). I hope that my experience will add authenticity to my blog posts and distill over 35 years of experience working in these formal and informal settings. I would like you to journey with me as we envision a different future for Jewish teens.
I am pleased that you’ve shared stories of how my blog content has made the rounds to Boards of Director meetings, Education Committee meetings, and more. This gives me encouragement, and I appreciate hearing the feedback. My request is that you attribute properly, and include links to this blog’s home page or other content that you find meaningful here. Please share your successes with me and subscribe!
*Career Development Consultant. I know that seems odd, working with others on Career Development, and changing my career. Careers are not static, but instead are reflective of individual growth, being ever in a state of change and development. The trick is to explore those paths!}
Connect with me on Twitter: @ruthschapira