We write to share some bittersweet news. After 10 exceptional years as the Executive Director of Jewish Teen Initiative (JTI), formerly known as North Shore Teen Initiative (NSTI), Adam Smith will be leaving the organization to take on the exciting new role of Associate Vice President, Young Adult and Teen Engagement at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP).
CJP and JTI share the same goal of engaging more individuals and families in Jewish life. Adam’s move to CJP will leverage and expand upon his relationship-based approach to community engagement, which has been so instrumental at JTI. In his new role, Adam will be responsible for developing a communal strategy to connect young adults and teens throughout Greater Boston with their Jewish identities.
With all that Adam has achieved since the founding of JTI — his innovative thought leadership, strong local and national relationships, and meaningful impact on thousands of teens — it goes without saying that he will be greatly missed. However, Adam leaves JTI in the capable hands of an enthusiastic and committed Board of Directors and a highly knowledgeable and talented staff.
Associate Director, Brett Lubarsky will continue to innovate and oversee our national leading Peer Leadership and Inclusion networks while working hand-in-hand with JewishBoston to launch JewishBostonTeens.com this fall. Our database, marketing and administration will continue under the thoughtful leadership of our Operations Manager, Sarah Wood. Additionally, we are pleased to announce JTI’s newest hire for the position of Senior Program Director. Dana Roth joins our team with an incredible range of talent and vision, having worked most recently in education and administration at Umass of Boston. Dana is looking forward to getting back into the field of Jewish education, and brings valuable education, inclusion and operational experience to the job!
As we enter this new chapter for our organization, JTI remains wholly committed to connecting Jewish teens to a broad base of their peers by engaging them in meaningful programming centered around Jewish life and community building. Part of that commitment has come in the form of an exciting new tool that challenges the way our community connects around the myriad of year-round opportunities that exist for our teens! JewishBostonTeens.com, currently still in its soft launch, will provide a living communal calendar of opportunities, as well as directory of programs, communities and organizations – serving as the central online connector for teens, JTI Peer Leadership Fellows, parents and Jewish professionals. Members of the JTI Boston Team have played an integral role in the design and population of this innovative site, and are continuing this important work as we prepare to officially launch the site in September with our partners at JewishBoston and CJP.
Heading into its fourth year, our signature Peer Leadership Fellows program continues to foster deeper connections between teens in the Greater Boston Jewish community while helping them access the vast menu of opportunities. Learn more and meet the Fellows who will be creating a more connected and inclusive community in the coming year .
Plans are already in progress for the popular regional community service days we help coordinate (like Soup-er Sunday, MLK Day of Service and Community Action Day), as well as our annual travel opportunities – where teens, pre-teens and adults are able to turn their passions to action, build and strengthen community and engage in the important work of tikkun olam – repairing our world. Check out the JTI Today section of our website for a broader view of the amazing things happening in our community, and to read first-hand accounts from our teens.
JTI Boston kicks off the 2019-20 programmatic year on August 20, with our annual end-of-summer pool party at the JCCNS in Marblehead – a collaboration between JTI and JCCNS in partnership with BBYO, NFTY, Lappin Foundation, Cohen Camps, Young Judaea, URJ Eisner Camp, URJ Crane Lake Camp, and URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy East, with support by CJP.
As JTI enters an exciting new decade, CJP will continue to provide support for growth opportunities and select programming. JTI continues to rely on support from our generous donors to ensure that teens remain a top priority on the North Shore as well as in the Greater Boston Area.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our success, we look forward to new opportunities and connections in the coming year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.
Michele Cohen and Gayle Rubin
Co-Chairs, Jewish Teen Initiative-Boston, Board of Directors