Youth & Teen Engagement

Kol Ami Youth Visit MLK Memorial

Senior Youth Group

Kol Ami’s Senior (grades 9th – 12th) Youth Group provides our high school students with a sense of community and an opportunity to explore their identities through a variety of amazing activities. Students come back to Kol Ami year after year, not only to take advantage of our exciting and inclusive programs, but also because they know the group as a wonderful community in which they have created life-long friendships

Each year elections run in May and the Va’ad is elected. They are expected complete a Va’ad training, join bi-weekly meetings, volunteer at Kol Ami events, support youth services, and act as role models to our younger teens and kids.

Youth Group Kol Ami

Junior Youth Group

We’re thrilled to announce the relaunch of our junior youth group! Geared towards 5th-8th grade students, this exciting program offers a mix of fun events, creative learning, and opportunities for personal growth. Through interactive activities, we aim to instill a sense of belonging and pride in our young members as they embark on their Jewish journey.

This group will meet monthly from 5-6 pm, if you are interested in joining please reach out to

Our Guiding Principles

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 & 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.

Kol Ami Youth Group Trip

Past Year’s Highlights

The Youth Group’s events change year-to-year, allowing for a fulfilling experience for students for all four years. Some highlights past years include:

  • Visiting Greyston Bakery and learning about their Open Hiring
  • Volunteering to sort medical equipment at Afya Foundation
  • Surfing and Service Learning In Puerto Rico
  • A joint Civil Rights Leadership trip to Alabama with 3 other Westchester Youth Organizations
  • Publishing a podcast on racial justice in Westchester
  • Creating a new outdoor classroom space and nature center
Kol Ami Youth Curling

Did you know that Kol Ami maintains meaningful contact with students after they graduate our Religious School? While they are away at College we send birthday greetings and goodies at Hanukkah and Purim. Kol Ami publishes a student directory to help old friends keep in touch while away at school. Help us to stay in touch with your college or graduate school bound student by giving us their contact information.

Tzelem For Westchester LGBTQ+ Youth 
A Moving Traditions Program

Kol Ami will be hosting Moving Traditions’ Tzelem groups where nonbinary, trans, gender expansive, and LGBTQ+ teens gather monthly with a trained adult mentor using a dynamic curriculum. Together in a circle of support, participants experience a brave, sacred space for them to articulate their deepest concerns, consider the impact of gender norms on their daily lives, celebrate and support together through joys and challenges, be their authentic selves with their peers, and explore topics that matter most to them. For more information reach out to Stacy Shapiro,

Melissa Cohen Director of Youth Engagement

Melissa Cohen grew up in Scarsdale, NY and recently graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Clinical Psychology. She intends to pursue a Masters degree in teaching biology later on. Melissa went to religious school at Kol Ami through 12th grade, was a Madricha (assistant teacher) for many years, and was an avid participant in the musical aspects of Youth Shabbats and High Holiday services. Additionally, Melissa attended URJ Crane Lake Camp for eleven summers, three of which were on staff, most recently as Head Programming Specialist. Camp is an integral part of Melissa’s Jewish identity and is a large reason why she is such a proponent of joyous and curious Judaism.

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