May 27, 2024
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Young Israel Youth Initiative Takes Hold

As it continues working to enhance youth programming in synagogues across the United States, the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) recently unveiled an innovative initiative aimed at training children to someday become leaders in their synagogues and communities. “Parsha Nation” provides youth directors nationwide with substantive materials and information intended to engage children from kindergarten all the way up to the teen minyan.

The broad array of programmatic materials is disseminated in a weekly email guide that is sent to youth directors and lay leaders in Young Israel synagogues throughout the United States, and that is filled with parsha questions, stories, riddles, games, discussion questions, and more. In a sign that Jewish communities around the world are seeking more structure and guidance, specifically in the area of youth programming, synagogues in Israel, England, Germany, and France now receive Parsha Nation guides as well.

The resurgence of Young Israel’s Youth Services Department, under the auspices of Assistant Director of Synagogue Services Ari Matityahu and Youth Services Coordinator Sammy Schaechter, has placed a renewed focus on serving the needs of the younger members of Young Israel synagogues.

“The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and we have a responsibility to ensure that they have the wherewithal to one day assume that mantle of leadership,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss. “While our schools do an exceptional job educating our children, it is our shuls that can instill in our youth the unique sense that synagogues play a central role in every Jewish community and impart to them that a shul is a place not just to daven, but to learn and grow as well.”

Matityahu said that Young Israel’s goal is to infuse passion, creativity, and a love of Judaism into Shabbat morning groups. For more information about Parsha Nation, contact Young Israel’s Assistant Director of Synagogue Services Ari Matityahu at 212-929-1525 x103 or via email at [email protected].

 

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