Teen Resources

Naropa 2009 110Now that your son/daughter is considered an adult in Judaism, there are a myriad of opportunities – social, learning, and social action that will keep him or her connected to the community. Your young adult’s experiences in the next few years may shape how they choose to connect to their Judaism once they leave your home. There are so many ways your child can stay involved in the community. Limitless choices…one community.

Boulder Jewish Teen Initiative (BJTI)

BJTI is both a network and a program provider for the entire Boulder Jewish community for students in grades 8-12. It supports and participates in all Jewish organizations teen offerings and creates it’s own unique activities. It is an opportunity for teens to connect with their peers as well as lay leaders, professionals, and mentors in the community. BJTI offers dynamic activities that have diversity and flexibility to fit a teen’s busy schedule. You can choose to show up as a participant or take a leadership role on the youth advisory council. It is a place for teens to explore and take ownership of their Jewish experiences.
Contact Gary Brandt, BJTI director, gary@myjsc.org or click the button for more information.
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JYG & BTY – Boulder Temple Youth
Middle School
Junior Youth Group, JYG, is Har HaShem’s middle school youth group. JYG programs typically connect its members to Judaism by building community and having fun programs grounded in Jewish culture, such as making our gelt. JYG members are invited to attend and help lead youth Shabbat services once a month with the senior Har HaShem youth group, BTY. A core group of JYGers volunteer every other week with Imagine! at the Boulder Smarthouse, where they connect with adults who have physical and/or developmental disabilities. Once a year, 7th and 8th graders have a weekend retreat with other JYGers from Missouri Valley where they engage in creative programs led by high school youth groupers and fun socials that allow them to connect with other Jewish youth their age. The JYG website has our entire calendar on it and can be used to learn about and/or register for specific events.
High School
Boulder Temple Youth, BTY, is Har HaShem’s high school youth group. BTY is led by the BTY board, members of BTY that plan and run the BTY events. BTY connects Jewish teens to Judaism through a tight-knit community where youth are embraced for being themselves. The typical BTY event is centered around one activity, such as ice skating or going to the movies, and when possible the BTY board enhances events with fun programs that teach participants about Judaism, about social action, or about themselves. Additional opportunities BTYers have are monthly youth Shabbat services, active services planned and led by BTY members, and constant invitations to volunteer to serve the community. We also belong to the Missouri Valley region of NFTY and gather with our regional friends 3 times a year for weekend retreats that include amazing programming by the host-congregation youth group, innovative and energetic services and song sessions, and amazing social events in the evenings. The BTY Website has our entire calendar on it, as well as the regional calendar, and can be used to learn about and/or register for specific events.
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Beth Ami – CO Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Congregation Bonai Shalom – Traditional Egalitarian
We have many opportunities for our students to stay involved post B’nai Mitzvah:

  • Madrichim program (teen aides in our religious school)
  • Read Torah/Lead services
  • Community social action projects
  • BJTI – Boulder Jewish Teen Initiative of which Bonai Shalom is a partner by providing different class and event offerings
Nevei Kodesh – Jewish Renewal Community of Boulder
  • Teen Band – with special guest starring appearances at High Holy Days, as well as at regular Friday night services.
  • Madrichim / madrichot – by invitation, select students are trained as teachers’ aides to assist in the religious school.
  • Torah readers – teens are encouraged and supported in continuing to chant Torah, including at High Holy Days. Coaching is provided by the congregation.
  • Play helpers – supervising the parallel play of children in a room during adult services on Shabbat, so children can weave in and out of the main service as suits their needs.
  • Coming soon… 8th grade social justice curriculum and service projects
Moving Traditions
Engaging teens in meaningful Jewish community while applying a gender lens and Jewish values to the challenges of everyday life.
Through its two programs, Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! and Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood, Moving Traditions has certified more than 1,200 educators and empowered over 12,000 Jewish teenagers of all affiliations to immerse themselves in Jewish tradition as they navigate what it means to be a teen. These non-judgmental safe spaces allow teens to fall back on their Jewish communities when the trials of teenage life emerge. Continually growing and evolving, the organization has recently trained 55 new adult male group leaders in order to increase the number of Brotherhood participants. As Moving Traditions moves into its tenth year of operation, it continues to create a new ethic of respect, equality, and healthy sexuality, which allows teens to be the leaders of a new, countercultural conversation.
There are two groups in Boulder – one Rosh Hodesh group for female students entering 8th and 9th grade and one Shevet Achim group for male students entering 8th and 9th grade.
For information about Moving Traditions in our community, please contact Melanie Gruenwald mgruenwald@movingtraditions.org
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PresenTense is an international social innovation accelerator serving the Jewish community. PreseTense’s inaugural program in the teen market, PresenTense Colorado, empowers Jewish teens to create a project, big or small, that addresses a social issue of their choice. Projects can range from a student event to a small business, and anywhere in between-or outside the box! Fellows meet twice monthly to practice innovative problem solving, critical thinking, and human-centered project design, discuss pressing social issues, learn fundraising tactics, and create community with their peers. Students are partnered with a mentor and coach, often Jewish leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, and successful professionals, who guide them through the development of their project and connect Fellows with professional networks. Through innovative curriculum, supportive staff, and collaboration PresenTense Colorado equips students with valuable and transferable skills, resulting in an engaged team of young Jewish leaders ready and able to change the Jewish community, Colorado, and the world in forward thinking, sustainable ways.
PresenTense Colorado Fellowship:
PresenTense Colorado’s Fellowship will begin in the fall. PresenTense Fellows will participate in a six month program in which they will learn about social innovation and meaningful ways to address social issues through PresenTense’s curriculum, their peers, as well as partnership with a mentor and coach. Throughout this process, fellows will create their own impactful project that will tackle a social issue close to their hearts. Fellows will meet twice per month for 2-3 hours at a time to work with their cohort, their coach and mentor, and on their individual projects. Time will also be spent outside of meetings on individual work.
PresenTense Colorado’s Student Advisory Board:
The 15 members of PresenTense Colorado’s Student Advisory Board will play a large role in our program’s development. This is PresenTense’s first time working with High School students, and we want your needs, desires, and opinions to be heard and implemented! The Advisory Board will be responsible for behind the scenes aspects of our program such as marketing, recruitment of fellows and our final admissions process, social media, and event planning. Board members are given the opportunity to present to Fellows and can join Fellows for field trips and guest speakers. Members can expect to spend 2-3 hours per month with PresenTense, including outside communication such as email and phone.
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Adventure Rabbi Teen
Adventure Rabbi Teens with Elaine Barenblat
Adventure * Friendship * Learning * Fun
Our teens meet once a month for an adventure. Sometimes its a physical adventure, like hiking or canoeing. Other times its a mind adventure, during which we learn something new about Judaism. All of the time its an adventure in building community and deepening friendships.

  • Deepen your Jewish friendships
  • Make new Jewish friends
  • Explore outdoor adventures
  • Led by Elaine Barenblat, Adventure Educator
  • Meets monthly
  • Experiential Learning
  • You do not need to be a graduate of our Bar and Bat Mitzvah program to participate.

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JCC Maccabi Games
For the week of August 2-7, 2015 in Milwaukee, WI hundreds of 13-16 year old teens will be competing in the Maccabi Games at the Harry and Rose Samson Family JCC. They will be competing in the following sports and activities:

  • Baseball (boys only)
  • Basketball
  • Flag Football (boys only)
  • In-line Hockey (boys only)
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball (girls only)
  • Dance
  • Golf
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Star Reporter

The JCC Maccabi Games® is the largest Jewish youth event in the world. The games will include over 1,000 Jewish teens from across the globe, involve 500 host families, and utilize 1,000 volunteers.
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BBYO – B’nai Brith Youth Organization
Jewish High School Clubs
At Fairview High School, Boulder High School, and Centaurus High School. All clubs are student led – students determine how often the club is held, brainstorm and implement topics to be discussed and help recruit other students to attend. Meeting topics range from informal discussions about how to have tough conversations with your parents, to obscure Jewish traditions, to a guessing game on Israeli music.
Fairview meets on Wednesdays at 12:20 in room 639 during lunch period. For more information about this club you can visit or join the Facebook page here.
Boulder High meets on Wednesdays at 3:00pm in room 2247 after school and meeting updates are broadcast on Panther TV.
For more information please contact Gary Brandt, Director, Boulder Jewish Teen Initiative at 303-808-8306 or gary@myjsc.org.
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This is just a small sampling of the programs, scholarships and volunteer opportunities for Jewish teens nationwide.
Teen/Young Adult Israel Travel Subsidies

Diller Teen Awards annual award of $36,000 given to 15 teens to be used to further their philanthropic work or their education For More Information
Etgar 36 Empowers students to change the world on a 36-day summer tour of the US For More Information
Alexander Muss High School in Israel pluralist, non-denominational, fully accredited international study abroad program in Israel for high school students For More Information
Bronfman Youth Fellowship immersion experience for high school Juniors exploring Jewish text study, pluralism and social responsibility in Israel and the US For More Information
Szarvas Fellowship International Jewish camp focusing on personal and peer discovery based in Hungary For More Information
Validation Project Created by a Camp Inc. camper, the project is an international organization committed to uniting teens worldwide to use their unique talents to make their positive mark on the world – volunteer opportunities, mentors, etc. For More Information
JNF Alternative Break Winter and spring break volunteering in Israel, Sponsored by Jewish National Fund For More Information
March of the Living International 1000s of Jewish teens march 3 kilometers from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom Hashoah For More Information
A list of jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities through Jewish organizations in Boulder County. Please contact the organization directly for more information.

Congregation Har HaShem
Job Opportunity
Madrichim are teaching assistants in Har HaShem’s various school Programs. Har HaShem offers Madrichim Training for 8th graders.
Community Opportunity
Becoming a Shabbat and holiday Torah chanter
Learning Opportunities
Confirmation class for 10th graders taught by our rabbi and youth director
Post-B’nai mitzvah students can attend any adult learning program that Har HaShem offers
*Our teen offerings are coordinated with our participation in the Boulder Jewish Teen Initiative
Volunteer Opportunities

  • Madrichim for Keitanat Har HaShem – Har HaShem’s summer day camp
  • Bi-weekly visits with residents at Imagine! Boulder, a home for adults with developmental disabilities
  • Working with our congregational team to provide food and shelter to our weekly homeless guests
  • Serve as a counselor at or fundraise for Camp Rainbow, a summer camp for children with blood diseases, sponsored by our youth region
  • We also individualize any service opportunities that teens need to help fulfill their secular school service requirements
Congregation Bonai Shalom
Bonai Shalom’s Social Action committee is very active and provides many opportunities for our post b’nai mitzvah students to continue to help make the world a better place. These include food and warm clothing collections, feeding the homeless, road cleanup, and many others.
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Nevei Kodesh
We have several current opportunities for students to help serve the homeless population of Boulder, through a monthly Community Breakfast at the shelter, as well as a monthly Community Table dinner offering meals to both homeless and working poor at a local church.
Madrichim / madrichot – by invitation, select students are trained as teachers’ aides to assist in the religious school.
JCC Ranch Camp Staff
Must be 17 and entering 12th grade. For all other teen programs, see the camps tab.
Listing of Jewish Camps in Colorado with programs specifically for teens. For employment opportunities at Colorado camps, see the Jobs/Internships tab.

Camp Inc. Business Academy
The Camp Inc. Business Academy is an elite business-focused overnight camp, where entering 6th to 12th graders come from all over the world to gain the skills necessary to become future leaders and innovators.
Located in the mountains of Colorado, The Camp Inc. Business Academy sits on 70 beautiful acres in the town of Steamboat Springs. Our unique summer program gives campers an opportunity to develop community, confidence, leadership, and Jewish identity through hands-on experience in Startups, Finance, Marketing & Design, or Coding.
The Camp Inc. program offers 2.5 and 5 week sessions for campers entering 6th-12th grade.
Camp Inc. is a program of the Boulder JCC and is funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation and AVI CHAI Foundation, in partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp.
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JCC Ranch Camp
JCC Ranch Camp has a number of unique summer camp experiences specifically for teens.
Here is a list of programs and the grade levels for each one

  • Equestrian Program – 5th-9th
  • Rock ‘N Ride – 7th-9th
  • Pack ‘N Ride – 8th-10th
  • Teen Adventure Service Corps (TASC) – 9th-10th
  • Teen Village 21-day, 1700 mile road trip – Entering 10th
  • Staff-in-Training (SIT) – entering 11th
  • Wrangler-in-Training – entering 10th and 11th

equestrian program is for campers in 5th-9th grades.
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Ramah Outdoor Adventure at Ramah of the Rockies
Camp Ramah is a home away from home for the Colorado Jewish community. We combine a traditional camp, a rustic wilderness program, and a vibrant Jewish life to create an unforgettable experience!

  • Solelim – 7th and 8th
  • Bogrim – 9th and 10th
  • Jewish Outdoor Leadership Institute (JOLI) – 11th & 12th graders – outdoor leader training
  • Tikvah – for Campers with Special Needs – Ages 11-17

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Shwayder Camp
Sitting at 10,200 feet, Shwayder Camp gives teens “A Summer To Build Their Life On”. 6th-10th graders will have the opportunity explore new activities such as horseback riding, arts and crafts, archery, music, hiking, camping, sports and much more. Our two week session will give campers a transformative experience in which they will experience personal growth and lifelong friendships all through the lens of Reform Judaism.
Teens entering 11th grade have the chance to participate in our four week Staff-in-Training Program (S.I.T.). Teens participating in this program will walk away with valuable leadership skills while receiving hands on training for positions at camp.
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One Happy Camper Grants (up to $1000)
Given to first time campers from the Foundation for Jewish Camping. Not based on financial need.
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