Adam’s Farewell Brunch

Adam’s Farewell Brunch

We cordially invite you to join the Jewish Teen Initiative of Greater Boston as we

Celebrate Adam Smith

Gather with us on Sunday, November 3, 12 noon, for brunch at Temple Emanu-El located at 393 Atlantic Avenue, Marblehead.

Celebrate the impact Adam has had on our teens and communities during the last ten years. 

Congratulate Adam as he begins a new chapter with Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) to continue his work of relational engagement.

Please make this day special for Adam with your attendance and personal tribute.

All electronic tribute ad files should be emailed to Michele Cohen at AdamsBrunch@JTIBoston.org. 

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Let’s Recognize the Impact He’s Made!

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2nd Annual Peer Leadership National Training Seminar

2nd Annual Peer Leadership National Training Seminar

Kicking off the new year, #PeerLeadershipFellows from Boston and throughout the country gathered in Baltimore last weekend at the 2nd Annual Peer Leadership Fellows National Training Seminar. More than 70 Fellows and staff from five cities spent the weekend learning about the art of relational engagement, peer-to-peer connection, and design thinking. Thank you to our friends @4frontbaltimore for hosting us and to our partners @cjpboston, @teenfundercollaborative and @jimjosephfoundation for their ongoing support as we begin the fourth year of the program (more photos on our Facebook page). Learn more about how Fellows will be helping to make our community more connected and inclusive for #JewishBostonTeens in the coming year.


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Day 3:  What an amazing weekend engaging IRL!

The #JTIBoston #PeerLeadershipFellows just returned from kicking-off our year with other Fellows from around the country and are excited to connect with more #JewishBostonTeens! Thanks to everyone for making it a huge success. Brb…sorting through 1200+ photos 😂 More coming later this week!


photoFriday, September 13, 2019
Day 1: #ShabbatShalom from Baltimore

This weekend, #JTIBoston #PeerLeadershipFellows are joining other fellows from @4frontbaltimore, @cincyjewishteens, @thesecondfloorpgh & @jfedroc for the 2nd Annual Peer Leadership National Training Seminar! We’re excited to be connecting with other Fellows from across the country, celebrating #Shabbat as a community and diving into the art of peer-to-peer #relationalengagement #engageIRL #jewishbostonteens


Jewish Boston Teens

Jewish Boston Teens

Connecting Our Community

JewishBostonTeens.com is officially here! Have you seen it? Have you used it? Are you excited about all the things you can now find, see, do, learn?

JewishBostonTeens.com helps connect our community to the vast menu of opportunities available in Boston and beyond by acting as:

  • A central online connector for Jewish teens, parents, and professionals.
  • A living calendar of events and experiences.
  • A directory of programs, communities, and organizations.

JewishBostonTeens.com is also a critical resource for the JTI Peer Leadership Fellows who serve as catalysts for enhanced teen connection to Jewish life. The foundation of the Fellows’ relational work is to help foster deeper connections in our community, as well as to raise their peers’ awareness of the menu of opportunities that exist.

Teens from across Greater Boston, including many of the JTI Peer Leadership Fellows, were an important part of the development and implementation of JewishBostonTeens.com.

At the core of JewishBostonTeens.com are relationships. JTI Boston remains committed to strengthening and supporting partner relationships in the Jewish Boston community to ensure this resource stays up to date, accurate and useful to those it serves.

Partner Resource Kit >>
Submit an Event >>

#JewishBostonTeens #CJPBoston #JTIBoston  #JewishBoston

Summer Blog Series: Habitat

Summer Blog Series: Habitat

We finish our summer blog series with a reflection from Sophie Cohen on her time in New Orleans with our Habitat for Humanity trip this past February. Sophie is a rising senior at Masconomet High School, a counselor at Camp Pembroke, and is going to be in her second year as a Peer Leadership Fellow.

Ever since I heard about the Habitat for Humanity trip, I have always wanted to go and experience what it’s like to build a house from the start. I have an older sister who went on this trip a year before me, and I loved seeing pictures of her with her new friends at a newly built home. Everything about this trip was so appealing to me: constructing a house, meeting Jewish teens, activities outside of the construction aspect. When the trip switched locations from North Carolina (where my sister did this trip) to New Orleans, I was even more excited. I couldn’t stop thinking about everything I could do there, from seeing beautiful places to trying new foods, and of course, building a house for a deserving family.

Habitat for Humanity was an indescribable experience for me. I had an amazing time making new friends and doing everything on the itinerary. My favorite part of the whole trip was, without a doubt, helping finish the house. I tried so many new things that I never even thought had to go into the construction process. Every room, measurement, and placement had to be perfect. No matter how long a certain project in the house took, it was so much fun. Some of the many projects I did during our time working in that house include painting doors and trims, caulking trims, filling in holes in walls or doors, and measuring windows and the accompanying sills that would go with them. Never before had I really understood all the work that goes into finishing a house, as crazy as that seems. Yet, despite all the hard work we put into this house, every moment of it was fun, interactive, and a great way to talk to new people.

Outside of the construction part of this trip, touring New Orleans was amazing. If you’ve never tried a beignet, I highly recommend them. The food was delicious, the streets of New Orleans were fun to walk around and buy souvenirs at, and I made friends with teens I would never have expected to be close with, but they’re people I still talk to today. The nights in our hotel were filled with fun card games, snacks, and many interesting adventures that made all of us laugh. Even outside of our hotel, we had an awesome time bowling, attending a Family Gras festival, and I even got the chance to catch up with a camp friend of mine who lives in New Orleans. My entire week on this trip was amazing. I love everything about what the trip had to offer me because I learned something every day, whether it was at the construction site, walking in the streets, or touring Tulane to see if I was interested in applying there. Not only was I experiencing something new every day, but I connected more with my Jewish identity, either by just being with other Jewish teens or by going to Shabbat services and dinners at Tulane’s Hillel. I recommend this trip to anyone out there who wants to do something great for a community, and “repair the world” one house at a time. Both building the house and not, it is a great way to build relationships while also knowing that you are a part of something that changes someone’s life, and that is the kind of feeling I walked away with after this trip.

Learn more about our Habitat for Humanity Trip >>

Dana Roth, Senior Program Director

Dana Roth, Senior Program Director

Meet Dana!

Dana Roth is the newest JTI teammate, stepping into the exciting role of Senior Program Director. Dana’s job (well, part of her job) will be to organize and plan JTI events throughout the year as well as spend time with our community partners and teens to make sure we’re meeting the needs of the people and organizations we serve!

Dana brings a background in higher education, an impressive ability to organize and a fun, bright personality to the table and we couldn’t be happier to have her aboard. Read more about her family, her background and her goals here.

#JTIBoston #JewishBostonTeens

Summer Blog Series: MLK Jr. Service Day

Summer Blog Series: MLK Jr. Service Day

Our summer blog series continues with a look back at our inaugural MLK Jr. Service Day, in partnership with TELEM. Rachel Wolf-Wagner, of Temple Beth Am Framingham, came to Soup-er Sunday in November and then was one of our amazing teen leaders for MLK Jr. Service Day in January. Rachel was a JTI Ruderman Inclusion Fellow and joined JTI in DC for L’Taken this year. In the fall, Rachel is starting Boston University.

The MLK Day of Service was a unique experience for me. I had attended the Soup-er Sunday event in Marblehead in the fall, but doing a service project like that at my synagogue was completely new and very special. Just like in the fall, I helped prepare lasagna, soup, and this time, banana bread for local shelters and charities. What was different about MLK Jr. Service Day for me was that I got to lead a group, my whole family was there helping out, and the donations were aimed at the Metrowest community I am a part of, and all of those things made the day not only fun but meaningful to me.

I’ve always been involved in community service, but recently, I’ve gotten more involved in service with my Jewish community as a peer leader. By attending and leading events like MLK Jr. Service Day, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with people in my community who I might not have otherwise met, and it offers a common interest and desire to give back to the larger local community. Although I’m going off to college in the fall and won’t be able to attend as many events like this at home, I hope to continue down the path of service that I’ve discovered in high school in the Jewish community, and I always want to be able to help those in need.

Learn more about our MLK Jr. Service Day >>

Summer Blog Series: DSA Innovator’s Club

Summer Blog Series: DSA Innovator’s Club

The summer series continues with a look back from Derek Sheckman Award winner Haley Lakind. Haley’s project focused on expanding inclusion programming at her high school, and we were so proud of the work she did this year. In addition to being a Derek Sheckman Award winner, Haley was a 2017-2018 Sloane Peer Leadership Fellow and has traveled with JTI to Washington DC for L’Taken. In the fall Haley is starting UMass Amherst and majoring in communications.

My Derek Sheckman Award project was called ITS. This stands for Inclusion Through Service. At Swampscott High School, there is a club called the Innovators Club. This is a club that used to meet once a week for lunch and it included kids in the school population as well as students on the spectrum who were part of their own separate program. My project had the goal of getting these students as involved in the school community as possible while also giving back to the community.

I was able to help host multiple events that got the students involved. This included a Thanksgiving breakfast where we made breakfast foods and arts and crafts that went to all the teachers in the school as a way of showing our thanks. We had a cookie decorating party where we baked, frosted and decorated cookies that we gave to the students and faculty at the school but also ate ourselves. We ran a bake sale at the local Opera Show that took place in February. The students got to interact with people in the community by selling the baked goods and the profit went toward the Discovery Learning Center at the High school. Also, we had a game day where people would come down for lunch and play board and card games with the kids.

These were fun and interactive ways I was able to help the students on the spectrum get involved in the school community and it is my hope that they will continue to interact in the future years.

Learn more about the Derek Sheckman Award >>>

Summer Blog Series: Peer Leadership Fellows

Summer Blog Series: Peer Leadership Fellows

We continue our summer blog series with a reflection from Fiana Herscovici, one of this year’s Peer Leadership Fellows in Metrowest. Fiana has been a staple for Metrowest Service projects this year. Fiana is a rising senior at Framingham High School and will be continuing her work with JTI in the coming year.

My sophomore year was defined by my Jewish extracurriculars. Throughout the year I had attended numerous NFTY events, fallen in love with my Diller Cohort, and had become an integral part of Temple Beth Am’s Youth Group, BATY, as their Religious and Cultural Vice President. As my sophomore year came to a close, I realized that all I wanted was to expose other teens to the opportunities I had had the ability to experience.

When the Director of Education of my temple, Rabbi Marcie Kamerow, told me about the Jewish Teen Initiative, I knew that I had found the platform that would allow me to shout from the rooftops how incredible Jewish youth groups are. I applied to be a Peer Leadership Fellow, and in the fall of this past year, the real work began. At the first meeting, I got to know the other amazing teens I would be working with and it was invigorating to be in a space so full of appreciation and passion for Jewish learning and programming. We learned that we would take on the task of data collectors in charge of gathering answers from individualized networks of Jewish teens that would help the MetroWest area gage what teens were looking for in programs and organizations. With these answers, a database would be created allowing both affiliated and unaffiliated teens to discover events in their area where they could hang out with friends, volunteer, play video games, whatever they liked to do, in a Jewish setting. But before any of this could happen, the twenty Peer Leadership Fellows formed our own network of teens that we would feel comfortable calling and asking questions throughout the year. I began brainstorming by listing the organizations that I participated in and the areas of my life where I had engaged with Jewish teens.

As I wrote down these areas, my mind flooded with memories of my first NFTY Summer Institute, my last week in Israel surrounded by 500 Diller teens and hundreds of languages and cultures, planning sessions with BATY Board that had helped recreate Levi Leap, and much much more. I began thinking about the people that had made these memories so potent, and the names of my current best friends, then strangers, began to surround these areas. I realized with a sort of awe that it was because of my time in Jewish programs, my experiences in Jewish spaces, that my life had been infused with the most uplifting and long-lasting friendships. I ended up with a network of twenty-five Jewish teens including those I had known since the eighth grade and those I had only met a few months ago. Throughout my year as a Peer Leader, not only did I gain valuable data from my network on what they wanted to see in Jewish programs in the MetroWest, but I also got to forge and strengthen connections with teens across the Boston area.

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with JTI Associate Director Brett Lubarsky in a Columbian coffee shop in Framingham. Upon my arrival, he took out his laptop, typed in the web address, www.JewishBostonTeens.com, and what popped up was the fruit of the labors of JTI Fellows, Brett, and countless others. The site is a gleaming database that compiles all the events occurring in the MetroWest area and it even allows the user to search for events based on their interests, location, and more. In a couple of months, it will be open for public use. In a couple of months, every Jewish teen in the Boston area will be able to access the countless opportunities and events that have created, shaped, and breathed into life my Jewish identity.

Learn more about and meet our Peer Leadership Fellows >>>

End-of-Summer Pool Party

End-of-Summer Pool Party

#JewishBostonTeens, grades 8-12, round up all your friends for an evening of swimming, games, music, lounging and delicious food (Terry’s Ice Cream Truck!) at the JCCNS outdoor pool. Israel-travelers, campers, counselors, interns, JTI alums and anyone who wants to hang out with friends old and new are welcome as we celebrate the end of a great summer and the start of a new school year! We’ve teamed up with the JCC and partnered with your favorite teen organizations again this year to throw the best bash of summer!

button #JTIBoston #PoolParty2019 #ItsStillSummer #FunInTheSun #FloatyLife

 

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