Sparking the Flame: Engaging Jewish Teens Through ‘Inspiration-Based’ Education

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Teens-making-menorahs-e1449758700189Christmas is a hard time to be a Jewish teen. It’s even harder if you’re the one trying to reach out to that Jewish teen.

Over the last several months, we’ve all been debating the veracity of a host of studies that essentially attempt to predict the Jewish future. You may be in favor of these studies – or opposed to them – but the reality is that none of us can accurately predict what will happen 20, 15, or even 10 years down the line.

But we at NCSY can tell you one thing – we’re out there on the front lines of Jewish teen outreach every single day, and the challenges are vast. We run Jewish culture clubs for teens on nearly 200 public school campuses nationwide, and we come face-to-face with the thousands of teens who will become our Jewish tomorrow. And the sad reality, especially at this time of year, is that most aren’t particularly proud of, or interested in, their heritage.

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The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.