Kol Ami’s Senior Youth Group allows our large high school student base to enjoy a sense of community and explore their Jewish identity through a variety of amazing activities. Students keep coming back to Kol Ami year after year, not only to take advantage of our amazing programs, but because they make friendships that last a lifetime.
Our Youth Group is founded on a few basic principles:
|Kehillah||Creating a sense of belonging and community within the group of students|
|Tikkun Olam||Repairing the world - opportunities to learn about, volunteer and act on Social Justice issues|
|Judaism and Shabbat||Allowing students to live and experience their core Jewish values, through prayer, Shabbat experiences and shared learning|
|Active, engaging experiences||At Kol Ami, we are strong believers in experiential education and doing and showing, rather than telling|
We want to invite you, and your friends to join our community! Here are some of the amazing opportunities you will have as a member of the Kol Ami Youth Group:
Religious Action Center trip to Washington D.C.
Students join other temples from all over the country to lobby for their values in the House and Senate. The high school kids get to learn about key issues important to Reform Jews in the U.S., and represent their community as they speak before Senators and Congressmen. Spend a weekend in beautiful Washington D.C., have havdallah at one of the famous memorials on the Mall, and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to put your values into action in the real world!
Social Justic Trips to Central America
Every other year, students have an opportunity to travel with their peers to Central America to learn about and create real social change in a local community. This unique trip allows students to learn the value of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world, while enjoying the amazing sites of Caribbean coastlines, active volcanoes and even zip-lining through the rainforest! Join your friends and earn community service credit as you help others build a school for a local community. This trip promises to be one of the most memorable experiences you can have, as you live the value of Tikkun Olam.
NFTY Israel trip
There is nothing the connects a student to their heritage and their community quite like a trip to Israel with their peers. Students who have gone on our summer trip with NFTY are simply transformed, as they dive into their heritage, and make friendships that last forever. This six-week long journey takes students from Europe, where they learn about the Jewish communities there and share powerful experiences surrounding the holocaust, to the breathtaking views of Israel, visiting all of the important sites: Whether you have always dreamt of seeing the Western Wall, or love the vibrant, modern sights of Tel Aviv and its beaches, or are interested in nature and want to see the beauty of the Negev desert, this is the trip for you. The fact that students get to join their friends and experience these together in high school gives them an experience that is unique and different from how they experience it with family or as adults. Join your friends and see the homeland of our people with Kol Ami!
Interested in helping out right here, in the heart of New York? Then Midnight Run is the event for you. In this dynamic, exciting evening event, students join together to collect and sort food, clothing and provisions for the homeless and then take to the streets of New York City, in an act of Tzedakah (Charity) and outreach. In this program, students get the opportunity not only to provide for the homeless, but to meet homeless people and speak with them, becoming ambassadors of the community. This is always a meaningful experience for our teens, and leaves a lasting impact that they will carry into their lives.
Just for fun
In addition to the many cornerstone trips, our students have a lot of experiences to just have fun together with their Kol Ami friends. Whether they are racing through the streets of NYC’s midtown on an “Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt”, laughing together at a Comedy Club, enjoying a movie, ice skating or bowling, we are always looking for new, fun activities for our teens.
Va’ad – Kol Ami Youth Leadership Board
Are you interested in becoming a more active member of the community? Think you have a special skill to contribute? Are you a people-person? Then you might consider joining one of our teams on the Youth Leadership Board. Students who are interested can choose from a variety of different positions on the board, and often come back for several years during high school. The Va’ad’s main goal is to create Kehillah (community) for our high school students. The teens have a chance to design and lead activities for each other every week on Wednesday nights. Va’ad members also meet and plan retreats and fun activities, from Midnight Run, to NYC scavenger hunts and Comedy Club events. In all of these activities, students get to choose what they are interested in creating for their friends, and become leaders in their community.
Youth Board positions
|Youth Board President||Leads the youth group, attends and helps coordinate all youth group events, runs meetings and oversees other Va’ad members and teams.|
|Tikkun Olam Team||Creates opportunities for Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and social justice events, such as soup kitchens, Midnight Runs and more.|
|Kehillah Community Organizing Team||Oversees weekly sessions of “kehillah” time, and creating an inclusive, thoughtful community.|
|Social Programming Team||Creates opportunities for fun, informal get-togethers, such as parties, social events in Westchester and NYC.|
|PR and Facebook Team||The face and voice of the Va’ad on Social Media, this team is responsible for marketing and spreading the word about youth group events.|
|Chaplains Team||Designs and coordinates opportunities for ritual and prayer, especially during retreats and trips.|
|Treasury and Tzedakah Team||This team oversees the Va’ad’s funds and is responsible to raise money for youth group and charity events.|
|9th Grade Reps||Represent the Freshmen who are starting out in the teen community, reach out to them and make them feel welcome.|
Our youth group Co-presidents are Charlie Abrams and Sam Weiner