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Whether you're looking for a kosher steak near the Jersey shore or a Jewish preschool in Highland Park, we've got all the information you need on everything Jewish in Middlesex & Monmouth counties.

Jewish teens

Programs for Jewish Teens in Central New Jersey

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Being a teen today isn’t easy – balancing academics, social lives, extracurricular activities, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and other demands on their time and attention. With all of these competing demands, it can feel downright impossible to also fit in and maintain a meaningful connection to Judaism.

The good news is that there are many opportunities for teens to connect to the Jewish community while having fun, making friends, developing leadership skills, and giving back.

Volunteer Opportunities

 

J-SERVE
J-SERVE is the International Day of Jewish Teen Service when more than 10,000 students in 6th – 12th grade from across the globe come together to make a difference through hands-on projects fulfilling the Jewish values of caring, justice, and repairing the world.
Ages: 12 – 18
Sponsoring Organization: Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ
Contact: Inbar Singal
(732) 588-1800
inbars@jewishheartnj.org

Friendship Circle
Friendship Circle is dedicated to creating a supportive community for special needs children and their families and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for teens and preteens.
Ages: 11 – 18
Sponsoring Organization: Friendship Circle of Central Jersey
Contact: Moushkie Volovik
(732) 536-2319
moushkie@friendsnj.com

Youth Groups/Leadership Opportunities

 

BBYO – Greater Jersey Hudson River Region
BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement. The Greater Jersey Hudson River Region has 1,400 teens and serves Albany and New Jersey from Bergen County to the Jersey Shore. Jewish teens can participate in meaningful Jewish experiences, leadership opportunities, and community service with their friends. Reach out to find a chapter near you.
Ages: 14 – 18
Contact: Rob Kappel
(908) 925-0310
rkappel@bbyo.org

JTEEN (Jewish Teen Experience)
JTEEN gives teens the opportunity to make a difference and have fun at the same time through volunteer opportunities and social activities.
Ages: 14 – 18
Sponsoring Organization: Chabad of the Shore
Contact: Yaakov Greenberg
(732) 829-7476
yaakov@chabadshore.com

NFTY – Garden Empire Region
NFTY is a Reform Jewish community for all high school students who are interested in connecting to their Judaism. Teens build friendships, lifelong Reform Jewish identities, and leadership skills through community building, worship, social action, and experiential youth-led Jewish educational programming.
Ages: 14 – 18
Temple Shalom, Aberdeen
Temple Shari Emeth, Manalapan
Temple Rodeph Torah, Marlboro
Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, New Brunswick
Monmouth Reform Temple, Tinton Falls

New Jersey NSCY
NCSY connects with Jewish teens through innovative, cutting-edge social and recreational programs to celebrate their Jewish heritage; embrace Torah and tradition; develop a positive Jewish identity; acquire invaluable leadership skills; connect with dedicated Jewish role models, and learn to live passionately Jewish lives.
Ages: 14 – 18
East Brunswick
Englishtown
Highland Park
(201) 862-0250
newjersey@ncsy.org

USY – Hagalil Region
USY is the youth movement of USCJ (United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism) and offers high school students the opportunity to immerse themselves in various Jewish and social activities while forming friendships that will last a lifetime. Regionally, USYers enjoy and grow religiously through retreats and conventions, dances, special programs, basketball tournaments, and so much more. In addition, Jewish teens may take advantage of USY’s unforgettable summer programs across North America, Israel, and Europe, as well as the annual International Convention. Chapters in Middlesex and Monmouth County are listed below.
Ages: 14 – 18
Temple Beth Ahm, Aberdeen
Highland Park Conservative Temple-Congregation Anshe Emeth, Highland Park
Ahavat Achim, Howell
Marlboro USY, Marlboro Jewish Center, Marlboro
Congregation Neve Shalom, Metuchen
East Brunswick Jewish Center, East Brunswick
Congregation B’nai Tikvah, North/South Brunswick
Congregation B’nai Israel, Rumson

Hebrew High School

 

Aleinu Hebrew High
A new model for Hebrew high school, offering a monthly rotation of four classes including community service, Israeli Film, Biblical Buffet (cooking), and field trips.
Ages: 13 – 17
Sponsoring Organization: Congregation B’nai Israel, Rumson (Conservative)
Contact: Michael Wikes
(732) 842-1800, x. 21
michael.wikes@cbirumson.org

Congregation Ahavat Olam Hebrew High School
Free, Hebrew high school program meets twice a month on Mondays from 5:45 – 7 p.m. Teens discuss current events and relevant Jewish topics in a fun, relaxed environment. Teens can also volunteer in Hebrew School as tutors or teacher’s aides.
Ages: 13 – 18
Sponsoring Organization: Congregation Ahavat Olam, Howell (Conservative)
Contact: Rabbi David Amar
(732) 719-3500
ravdavidamar@gmail.com

CTeen
Chabad Teen is an interactive educational experience combining fun, social activities, volunteer opportunities, and Torah study.
Ages: 13 – 18
Sponsoring Organization: Chabad of Western Monmouth County
Contact: Rabbi Shmuly or Moushkie Volovik
(718) 915-1867
moushkie@chabadwmc.org

Lunch, Learn, and re’Lax
Teens come together five times a year for food, friends, and a half hour of learning.
Ages: 14 – 18
Sponsoring Organization: Highland Park Conservative Temple-Congregation Anshe Emeth, Highland Park (Conservative)
Contact: Matt Nover
(732) 347-6975
mnover@hpct-cae.org

MTV – Mitzvos, Torah, and Values
Fun, informative, and meaningful classes designed to educate teens about the relevance, wisdom, and direction Judaism has to offer. Meets weekly.
Ages: 12 – 17
Sponsoring Organization: Torah Links of Middlesex County, East Brunswick (Orthodox)
Contact: Rabbi Shlomo Landau
(732) 613-1613
slandau@torahlinks.org

Congregation Neve Shalom – Hebrew High
Weekly classes cover different topics in Judaism including Israel, holidays, and Jewish morals and values. Participants also pay monthly visits to the residents in the NJ Veteran’s Memorial Home.
Ages: 13 – 18
Sponsoring Organization: Congregation Neve Shalom, Metuchen (Conservative)
Contact: Miriam Dobin
(732) 331-6901
education@neveshalom.net

Temple Shaari Emeth Hebrew High School
Temple Shaari-Emeth’s post-Bnai’ Mitzvah program includes weekly meetings that begin with pizza and schmoozing. Students in grades 8 & 9 choose a different class each semester based on topics of interest (e.g. cooking, debate, Israeli cooking, conversational Hebrew); and 10th graders participate in a year-long confirmation class.
Ages: 13 – 16
Sponsoring Organization: Temple Shaari Emeth, Manalapan (Reform)
Contact: Melissa Pescatore
(732) 462-4245
mpescatore@shaariemeth.org

Israel Leadership & Advocacy

 

IAC Eitanim
IAC Eitanim is a project-based leadership and entrepreneurship program that allows teens to connect, explore, and experience Israel while preparing for college and developing professional skills.
Ages: 15 – 18
Sponsoring Organization: Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ
Location: Young Israel of East Brunswick
Contact: Inbar Singal
(732) 588-1800
inbars@jewishheartnj.org

StandWithUs
StandWithUs is an international, non-profit Israel education organization. StandWithUs is dedicated to educating people of all ages about Israel and to combating the anti-Semitism and extremism that often distorts the issues. Monthly programs center on different topics and include a pizza dinner.
Ages: 13 – 18
Sponsoring Organization: Young Israel of East Brunswick
Contact: Keren Horn
(917) 776-9128
YouthDirector@yieb.org

The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey also has scholarships available to enable teens to gain their own firsthand perspectives on Israel on an organized trip with peers.

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