A Call for Teen Engagement
(וְנִבְּאוּ בְּנֵיכֶם וּבְנֹתֵיכֶם (יואל ג:א
Your Youth Shall Dream Dreams (Joel 3:1)
We have an exciting surprise for our teenagers – and on December 2nd at our Dedication Ceremony, I hope they will find it.
It is our new youth lounge tucked away into an upper corner of our atrium. A place where they can come in at night to gather and relax – to sit with our rabbis and to schmooze with our Director of Youth Engagement.
The early Reform movement knew that teen engagement was the key to the success of Judaism, and made sure that our biggest celebration of Jewish achievement was during the teen years.
Many of the adults that are involved in Holy Blossom Temple gained lasting knowledge and a dedicated attitude during their time studying with our best educators in the Confirmation program.
We are all on HBT’s Youth Education team – as we are all, passionate about creating Jews secure in their Jewish identities and knowledgeable about their own Jewish practice. And, therefore, we all need to turn to our friends and family and ask them where their high school students are learning.
Where are they learning about the crisis in Gaza right now – and how will they find a safe place to ask their questions? Where will they learn about what is different in these attacks of antisemitism then in pre-war Germany?
Some of our best educators are still in our high school-aged programming, and they know that our teenagers need a bit of a nudge to get in the door. But once they step into the door in grades 8, 9, 10 and above, they stay.
So please, nudge your teenage children and grandchildren. Help them step through the gateway to Jewish community and learning.
Put them in touch with me, with Debbie Spiegel and Lisa Isen Baumal. And from that new corner in our atrium, I know our youth will dream dreams which will become the Judaism, the Holy Blossom, of the future.