Sheckman Project: Reusable Bag Workshop

Sheckman Project: Reusable Bag Workshop

On Dec 16th, one of our Dereck Sheckman Award winners, Kevin MacDonald, ran a workshop on making your own reusable bag at Temple B’nai Abraham in Beverly! Kevin’s DSA project focuses on sustainability and is helping people get ready for the elimination of plastic bags in Beverly starting Jan 1. Thanks to TBA Beverly for hosting and congrats Kevin on a great workshop!

Sound Interesting? Attend our next Sheckman Award project series, Get Cooking with Arly, beginning Jan 10 at Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead from 6-8pm.

Guest Blog

Guest Blog

Interfaith Harmony!

A Catholic’s First Mitzvah

By Kathleen Rose-Johnsen, Interfaith Enthusiast

We’ve all heard the expression “actions speak louder than words” and after years of witnessing Soup-er Sunday behind the scenes my daughters and I put our Catholic faith into action and experienced our first Jewish Mitzvah with JTI at Soup-er Sunday 2018.

How did I witness Soup-er Sunday behind the scenes, you ask? I am JTI’s resident graphics and web designer since 2008. In this capacity, I get to see ALL their AMAZING teen programming in planning, photos, press releases, teen testimonials, blog posts and so much more.

This year my twin daughters, Emma & Olivia, are old enough to participate and need service hours for their confirmation service project. Enter JTI. The first program that came to mind was Soup-er Sunday but here’s the catch, we’re not Jewish.

Could this count as their Catholic service project? Should our Catholic faith preclude us from participating in a Jewish good deeds day? I was flooded with questions but driven to join!

Ultimately, after introspection, I concluded that in this very divisive world, we are just good people looking to Make the World a Better Place regardless of our faith. Those are literally words I’ve seen JTI putting into action year after year. Soup-er Sunday just felt right, a perfect fit. Next, I needed to get approval from the girls’ confirmation director and my JTI co-workers.

Yippie! It was a go on all sides. I’ve worked with these lovely JTI folks (that I’ve come to call friends) for years and was not at all surprised by how they welcomed us with open arms and made us feel like superstars!!!

It was such a wonderfully inclusive and rewarding (A++) interfaith experience for my family that we are already excited to volunteer for JTI’s upcoming J-Serve + NS Mitzvah Day on April 14th.

Thank you JTI from the bottom of our caring hearts ❤️! It really does feel good to do good for others! And putting kind words into action pays off tenfold for everyone involved regardless of faith!

Grades 9-12, you can help Make the World a Better Place with JTI this March 15-18, 2019 in Washington, DC!

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Todah Rabah

Todah Rabah

Many thanks to everyone who  shared love with #JTIBoston for #GivingTuesday!

Supporting us means investing in a more vibrant community for our #JewishBostonTeens and a brighter, stronger generation of leaders for our tradition.

It’s not too late to help  – spread the word & help us reach our goal!

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Teen Blog

Teen Blog

Have Love Will Travel

By Sarah Cohen, Masconomet High School 2019

The trip was so much fun! In the day we were able to help the less fortunate by building houses and at night we would do fun activities such as going to an arcade or shopping. I met people from all over the North Shore that I am now really good friends with. Before the Habitat trip, I was a bit nervous that I would be traveling with a group of teens that I had never met before. We got to the airport and I saw a few familiar faces, but many I did not know. Though I was nervous, I knew that this opportunity, traveling over a vacation week, was one like no other. To be able to travel with old and new friends, make memories, help the less fortunate, was one of the best experiences in my life. I can not wait to travel to NOLA this year and make even more amazing memories!
Make the world a better place this February 17-23, 2019 on our upcoming trip to New Orleans.

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Teen Blog

Teen Blog

Winding Down

After a Day on the Worksite

By Jacob Nagel, Marblehead HS 2020

Habitat For Humanity was one of my first trips with JTI and every moment of it was a blast. Throughout the week I learned about building homes and was able to bond with everyone on the trip. During the actual building of the homes, there was not one minute where anyone of us didn’t have something to do to help Habitat get closer to their deadline. Every evening, after we had worked all day, JTI always had something fun for us to do. Whether it was going to the Melting Pot and enjoying an amazing dessert, or going to go to my first NCAA basketball game between Boston College and North Carolina State, there was always something that everyone could enjoy. The trip had a great mixture of work and play. It allowed me to not only volunteer for an amazing organization, but have fun doing activities I would not be able to do at home. I recommend that everyone should do Habitat for Humanity, especially if you want to work, play and have fun!

Make the world a better place this February 17-23, 2019 on our upcoming trip to New Orleans.

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Teen Blog

Teen Blog

The Habitat of WORK

By Lily McGuirk, St. Mary’s 2020

My experience with Habitat allowed me to work hand in hand with other teens from the North Shore. We spent 5 days working on a house. When we started there was a frame of the house and after we left we had accomplished putting in window frames, and building dry walls…we really got to see our the progress we helped make. On the trip teens come together and form new bonds, and share the quality of helping others. Not only do you work together but it’s great to travel, visit a college, and enjoy fun activities. The trip is an amazing experience which develops character, and is an experience which you come back and remember. Teens who join the trip are driven to work because they feel it is important to help others. The JTI habitat trip is an amazing experience which I recommend you experience for yourself because I have had the privilege of connecting to my jewish faith, meeting other teens, and working for others.

Make the world a better place this February 17-23, 2019 on our upcoming trip to New Orleans.

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Teen Blog

Teen Blog

30 Hours in NYC

By Jenn Bloom, The Academy at Penguin Hall, 2020

Last November I had the pleasure of attending the 2017 New York City trip with the Jewish Teen Initiative. When I heard about the trip through my temple, I honestly wondered what we could possibly do since we would be in New York for such a short amount of time. Although, I can confidently say that I was wrong, and that we did so much more than I could have ever imagined. Despite being in New York for just over 24 hours, we spent every second experiencing and touring the area. When we were not sleeping or on the bus, we were doing all that we could.

When we arrived on Friday afternoon, we made it to the hostel and started preparing for Shabbat services and dinner with New York Jewish teens. Throughout the day, leading up to services, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Metro Diner, went on a food tour of the city, to a massive candy store, and had the opportunity to go to the Tenement Museum. Here we experienced the cramped living spaces and learned about the lives of past residents, such as a German Jewish family in the 1870s, and an Eastern European Orthodox Jewish family in 1918. We got to really understand and visualize how compact housing was, and what typical life was like years and years ago for large Jewish families. I found the museum to be the most interesting part of the trip, as it was an interactive, yet educational, component to our time together as a group. Personally, the museum opened my eyes to not only how much life has changed, but also how lucky I am for my living situation, and life in general. Jewish life has significantly evolved since then and I am thankful for the way it has.

On day two in the city, when the trip was starting to come to an end, we visited the Museum of Natural History, where we got to roam around the museum and go look at what intrigued us the most. Personally, I was fascinated by the marine biology exhibits, where I got to further educate myself about all of the species and wildlife that live in our world. We then had the pleasure of watching The Play That Goes Wrong, and of course, being typical tourists, walked around Times Square. With all of this said, through my time in New York, I had the chance to not only meet other Jewish teens, but also educate myself on the history of Jewish life, culture, and upbringings. I truly do believe that this trip is an amazing opportunity because I was able to see the Jewish religion in a new way—in a way that I never got to see through Hebrew school or services. I was able to connect with fellow Jewish teens and people that I’ve never even met. I comprehended how being Jewish plays a major role in my life and how Judaism shapes my life altogether. I’m thankful JTI made this experience possible and highly recommend the trip to anyone who is considering going this year.

Sound interesting? Learn more here.