Why did Congregation Or Ami focus our energies on creating a mental health and wellness retreat? Because today's teens are particularly stressed out, overwhelmed by anxiety, buffetted by the emotional turmoil engendered by social media. They crave support and relief.
Youth engagement succeeds when teens have real life responsibility for their own Jewish learning. After years of adequate adult-led youth services we reached out to our teens. Their involvement as High Holy Day service leaders resulted in more spiritually engaging youth services and also the development of a cadre of teens capable of leading their younger peers in meaningful worship.
"To say the NFTY-EIE program changed my life would be an understatement. The four months I spent in Israel were the happiest times of my life so far." Reflections of teen Rockey Greenberg on a high school semester in Israel.
Teen Carly Feinstein speaks about how Mitzvah Corps Costa Rica's social justice work transformed her. Congregation Or Ami's young leader changed the world.