May 30, 2024
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Young Israel of Passaic-Clifton Is Growing; Seeks New Youth Director

Rabbi Yaakov Glasser

Wise leaders of bustling, growing shuls know that youth programming is an essential factor in their success. So when a successful youth director with a healthy tenure at the shul announces their departure, the savvy shuls move right away to find a skilled successor.

The Young Israel of Passaic-Clifton (YIPC) is blessed with continued growth and decisive leadership.

As shul president Avraham Groll shared with The Jewish Link, “BH we are a growing shul with more than 160 member families, with an average of 50-60 children in youth groups each Shabbos. The YIPC focuses very heavily on being a shul for all age groups and the entire family. Our focus on the ongoing growth of our adult members applies equally to younger members as well.”

Groll shared that YIPC’s youth director, who has served them with great results for over five years, has indicated that she will step down from the position shortly. “Morah Sara Klarburg joined us in 2018, and since that time, the youth department has seen tremendous growth. There are multiple families who have joined the shul specifically because of our youth programming, and the shul has much hakaras hatov for everything she has done, and for the foundation for future growth that she has created.

“In addition to her job as our YIPC youth director, Morah Sara is a well-known party motivator, running youth programs and events throughout the country, and she is leaving to spend more time with family when possible, especially on Shabbos.” (https://www.sarasquadlife.com/)

Groll stated that the youth director is an essential role in YIPC and the president and other leaders make it a high priority to support the person in that role. “To us, the youth director is not going to oversee babysitting. Instead, it is to make YIPC a home to our children just as it is to adults. As such, our focus is to help the youth director succeed in this position, and we will do everything possible to provide support and resources needed.

“In addition, we are expanding our youth committee, which will B’ezras Hashem be comprised of mechanchim and mechanchos with many years of combined experience, and who will work closely with the youth director to both enhance the program, and the ability of the youth director to thrive in this position.”

Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, the rav of the shul, is also committed to offering guidance and mentorship to the new youth director. “Working with Morah Sara was an extraordinary experience,” he said. “Informal Jewish education has been a lifelong passion of mine, and concurrent to my role in the shul I have been privileged to assume numerous leadership positions in experiential Jewish education. Together with Morah Sara and lay leaders in the shul, we worked to design leadership training programs, elevating and exciting learning programs, and opportunities for our youth to connect to the shul in a substantive and lasting manner. It was a privilege to share in the creative process and to participate in many of the programs. I look forward to continuing this partnership with the incoming director.”

Groll reported that the YIPC’s youth calendar includes activities such as “‘Back to Shul’ kickoff events at the end of the summer, Shabbos HaGadol/Shuva groups, end-of-year barbecues, Israel-themed programs, magic and animal shows, pre-Purim and Pesach programs, laser tag and a host of other events throughout the year.”

He added: “Most notable are the active and vibrant youth groups. We have extensive training for youth leaders, created leadership tracks for them, and special opportunities for them to participate in youth activities throughout the year.

“We would like to see all of these programs continue to flourish while we extend the time of groups on Shabbos mornings, the number of programs throughout the year, and focus more on our teens.”

For more information on the youth director position at the Young Israel of Passaic-Clifton, please visit the website www.yipc.org/youth or send email to Shul President Avraham Groll, at [email protected]

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