We’re the Teens of Jewish Boston

We’re the Teens of Jewish Boston

Connection, Community & Conversation

Looking for that new podcast to listen to during your holiday travels? Fresh on JewishBostonTeens.com: three #JTIBoston #PeerLeadershipFellows (Ryann Bloom, Rachel Kesser, and Josh May) sound off on what it’s like being a Jewish teen in Greater Boston, how they’re helping to connect our community and how they navigate their personal Jewish journeys. Thanks to our partners at CJP – Combined Jewish Philanthropies for helping to amplify the voices of these leaders in our community. Let us know what you think!

Jim Joseph Foundation NFTY NFTY NE | Northeast Region Samantha Bbyo Walsh Temple Beth Elohim – Wellesley, MA Temple Shir Tikva

Meet The Fellows Monday!

Meet The Fellows Monday!

It’s #MeetTheFellowsMonday! Over the course of the 2019-20 program year, the #JTIBoston #PeerLeadershipFellows will say hello and share a bit about themselves and the work they’re doing to help our community be a more connected and inclusive place for #JewishBostonTeens.

December 2, 2019: Meet Lucy, a sophomore at Marblehead High School. She enjoys playing sports, including volleyball and tennis. Lucy is a member of Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead, MA, and she attends Camp Tel Noar in Hampstead, New Hampshire. Lucy loves playing with her pet, corgi named Chloe!

“I joined the #JTIBoston #PeerLeadershipFellows program so I could get more teens involved in the Jewish community. I have found amazing opportunities within the community and I love the idea of engaging more #JewishBostonTeens. I am looking forward to strengthening my connections with my peers and developing my leadership skills.” – Lucy New, North Shore Cohort 4

November 25, 2019: Meet Nate, a sophomore at Marblehead High School. He plays soccer and hockey and enjoys most sports, board games, and other brain puzzles. Nate likes to read and play video games and is a Madrich (teaching assistant) and member at Temple Emanu-El, Marblehead, MA

“I joined the #PeerLeadershipFellows because I thought it was really sad that so many Jewish teens became disconnected so soon after they became B’nei Mitzvah. Getting involved with #JTIBoston seemed like a really good opportunity to change that and give anyone Jewish a happy and welcoming Jewish community.” – Nate Samuels, North Shore Cohort 4

photoNovember 18, 2019: Meet Leah, a sophomore at Gann Academy. She is involved in the school’s literary magazine, newspaper, and more. She enjoys hiking, writing, reading, spending time with her friends, and playing on her school’s soccer and softball teams. Leah is a member of Temple Beth Shalom and loves participating in her temple’s youth group!

“I became a #JTIBoston #PeerLeadershipFellow because I have always felt connected to and at home in my Jewish community, and I would love to help other #JewishBostonTeens feel the same way.” – Leah Koritz, Metrowest Cohort 3

photoNovember 11, 2019: It’s #MeetTheFellowsMonday after a jam-packed weekend for #JewishBostonTeens!

The #JTIBoston #PeerLeadershipFellows were all over the map with their BBYO & NFTY NE friends! It sounds like BBYO Fall Convention and URJ Youth Northeast Homecoming were awesome! Looking for more? Visit JewishBostonTeens.com to see how you can get connected!

photoNovember 4, 2019: Meet Sam, a Junior at Wayland High School. He is involved in student government and loves to discuss and debate pressing political issues. In his free time, Sam enjoys hanging out with friends and helping with social action projects in his community. Sam is a member of Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland, and is excited to continue his work connecting #JewishBostonTeens for a second year with the #JTIBoston #PeerLeadershipFellows.

photoOctober 28, 2019: Meet Michaela, a senior at Franklin High School! She competes in winter and spring track and field and enjoys playing baritone saxophone in her school’s pep band along with spending time with her friends. She is a member of the Temple Etz Chaim community and spends her summers at Camp Pembroke. She also loves being part of NFTY NE | Northeast Region!

“My favorite aspect of being a JTI Peer Leadership Fellow is getting to connect teens with others through mutual interest.” – Michaela, Metrowest Cohort 3




With your gift, more #JewishBostonTeens can go on our travel programs – which involve lobbying elected officials about issues that impact our communities, building and repairing homes and exploring what Jewish identity looks and feels like as we enter the next decade. Your support is critical to help us offer these opportunities while removing cost as a barrier.

THANK YOU for enabling and trusting #JTIBoston to do this important work. THANK YOU for your support – on #GivingTuesday and always.

Give today >> PayPal.me/JTIBoston

Article Repost

Article Repost

New Website Connects

Teens to Jewish Life

By Kara Baskin for JewishBoston.com

I usually write about kid-friendly topics here at JewishBoston, and often that news skews younger, toward the tween-and-under set. Good news: Now JewishBoston has its very own teen-centered website, JewishBostonTeens.com, which showcases opportunities for leadership, travel, camp, volunteering and more, all in one place.

“The goal is to help our community be better connected when it comes to the opportunities for teens to connect to Jewish life,” says Brett Lubarsky, associate director of the Jewish Teen Initiative of Greater Boston, a partner in creating the site. “The problem is, unless you know somebody who knows somebody, you probably don’t know about the vast majority of opportunities out there because there are so many gatekeepers of this information in the community. We’re trying to remove the barriers and answer the question: ‘How do we get more Jewish teens involved in Jewish life post b’nai mitzvah?’ The first thing, the most important thing, is to make sure they know this stuff exists.”

JewishBostonTeens.com is an initiative of CJP, in partnership with JewishBoston and the Jewish Teen Initiative of Greater Boston. It’s supported by the Jim Joseph Foundation.

Here’s why you (or your teen!) should check it out:

It’s easy!

Events, organizations and blogs, just like at JewishBoston, are easily navigable and customizable via teen-specific criteria: grade level, location (North Shore, Metro West and so on) and interest.

It links Boston-area Jewish teens like never before. At last! 

“Teens said to us, ‘Hey, I’m having conversations with my friends. I find out we’re both into art. Where do I look for the art stuff?’ Or, ‘I’m having conversations with my friends and they tell me they’re into service and volunteerism. Where do I look for the volunteerism stuff?’ There was a gap; there was no central menu of opportunities,” says Adam Smith, former executive director of Jewish Teen Initiative and now associate vice president of young adult and teen engagement at CJP. “Now, teenagers and their parents have a centralized place to find activities and resources, all in one place, instead of relying solely on their JCC or synagogue. This was a tool that was missing.”

There’s lots and lots of content. (But it’s all easily searchable. See above!)

We’re lucky to live in a culturally rich community with plenty of Jewish organizations. But where to begin? Where do you or your family fit in?

“I’m excited because Boston has an incredible array of things. We have an embarrassment of riches in the Jewish teen space in Greater Boston, and we haven’t ever focused our time collectively on a plan to link young people with opportunities that are the right match for them,” Smith says. “The thing I’m fired up about and completely excited about is this is a paradigm shift. We’re placing families and young people in the drivers’ seat to be architects of their own experience, and we’re doing it in partnership with existing content providers. We’re not trying to plan new things. We love all the things!”

There are resources for professionals, too.

Even if you’re not a teen anymore (sorry), the site is still incredibly useful. “We realized the Jewish professionals in our community didn’t have a one-stop shop for resources, so we built that as well: professional development opportunities, best practices, research and upcoming events,” says Lubarsky.

There’s even a Partner Resource Kit for organizations to promote JewishBostonTeens. “We want to make it as easy as possible for teens to connect with and create the Jewish life they want,” says Ashley Jacobs, JewishBoston’s content manager, who led the new site’s creation over 18 months. “We’re excited to be able to provide this valuable resource to the community.”

Click the logo below to browse the website!


Reposted from JewishBostonTeens.com – November 18, 2019

JTI Hiring

JTI Hiring

APPLY TODAY + spread the word!

JTI Boston is looking for a Middle School Engagement Coordinator. This position is a full-time, year-round position that includes competitive salary, health insurance, paid vacation, sick time, professional development and mentoring/coaching. Our Middle School Engagement Coordinator will:

  • Build and strengthen relationships with pre-teens, teens, and partners throughout the community;
  • Have a passion for planning and coordination, service-learning and organizational relationship building;
  • Bring creativity and energy to marketing, recruitment and outreach efforts and strategies;
  • Develop a menu of opportunities for pre-teens in the Metrowest and North Shore suburbs of Greater Boston;
  • Embrace your love for Jewish Camp! This position has the potential to spend summers as a member of the
    leadership team at Camp Tel Noar, a Cohen Camp located in Hampstead, NH. The successful candidate for
    the position will be interviewed by Camp Tel Noar in a separate process.

#YouthEngagement #JTIBoston #JewishCamp

Article Repost

Article Repost


Service Day a Huge Success

By Jewish Family Service of Metrowest

FRAMINGHAM – On Sunday, Jewish Teen Initiative hosted the second annual #LoveOurNeighbors Metrowest Community Service Day at Temple Beth Am in Framingham. In partnership with JFS of MetrowestThe Shapiro Foundation, area synagogues and teen organizations, over 100 teen and adult volunteers came together for a morning full of building, sorting, painting, assembling and decorating. Each project will go on to directly support JFS programs, children and families in need in our Metrowest community.

On behalf of the clients we serve, JFS sends so much gratitude to our partners at JTI and the Shapiro Foundation for making the event possible!

The Buddy Benches that were constructed will provide a comfortable space for the Woodrow Wilson School students to sit with friends and know they are a part of welcoming and a caring community.

The donation collection bins will allow for generous members of the community to easily contribute items to the JFS Children’s Clothing Closet.

The boxes of brand-new clothing that were prepared for distribution and the clothing bags that were decorated will help JFS bring comfort and confidence to more kids.

The beautiful murals painted and the clothing bins decorated will make the JFS Children’s Clothing Closet a lively and vibrant space to volunteer and build community.

Thank you again for this amazing contribution and partnership!

Reposted from JewishBostonTeens.com – October 29, 2019

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. 

Let’s Recognize the Impact He’s Made!


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.

photo Sunday, September 15, 2019
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