About Me

Ruth Schapira

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!

Click here to read the most popular blog from last year plus check out summaries of the most viewed blogs here.

 

*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


6 responses to “About Me

  • Elisa Heisma

    Hi! Very nice and helpful blog. One question do you accept submissions from other Jewish bloggers as guest writers?

    • Ruth Schapira

      Dear Elisa, Hi, thanks for writing and reading! Yes, I’d be happy to review what you’ve written via an e-mail and would certainly post here if it fits within the framework of this blog. ~Ruth

  • Ravit Bar-Av

    Dear Ruth,

    I have read many of your posts and as a mother of two Jewish/Israeli teens I have always relate to your optimistic concern about the future :) For me, being Jewish is way beyond religion – just like you wrote in one of your recent blogs. I am trying to teach my kids that concept and hopefully with time and maturity it will sink. I also learned that for them, our visits to Israel are the most meaningful way to connect with their heritage and the best way to build their identity as individuals who belong to a much bigger entity. Recently I have learned about Naale Elite Academy http://www.elite-academy.org which is now also a program I represent in the US. Elite Academy is a HS initiative in Israel fully covered by the Israeli Education Ministry and the Jewish Agency, where Jewish kids entering 10, 11 and 12 grade can apply for studies in Israel. Families can choose the appropriate school according to their level of observance and their kids will learn Hebrew, acquire an Israeli HS diploma and will find that deep connection to their heritage. If any of your readers would like to learn more they are welcome to write me at naale.eusa@gmail.com
    As always, I look forward to your next post,

    L’Shalom,
    Ravit Bar-Av

    • Ruth Schapira

      Dear Ravit,
      Thank you for your interest in reading about Jewish teens. It sounds like you’re focused on teaching your kids all the right things, and your commitment through your actions and especially manifested in your choice of career, will teach them a whole lot about what’s important to you.
      Kol tuv,
      Ruth

  • rfaintich

    Ruth,

    If you would like to cross post your blog to the Kehillah Co-Operative (the new national virtual community for Jewish youth professionals) we would love for you to do so. (www.kehillahco-op.groupsite.com) Feel free to just copy/paste the content and note it as cross-posted in our Blog section.

    Kol haKavod,
    Robyn Faintich

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