Teens ___________ group

We bring together teens from across the Lehigh Valley to explore Israel, Jewish life, Leadership and much more.




What it is?
- Well, it is NOT Hebrew School and it is NOT a youth group. Instead, it is a space for Jewish teens to explore topics of their choice in a safe and welcoming atmosphere.


Who it is for?
- All Jewish 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in the Lehigh Valley. We are looking for a diversity in backgrounds to encourage diverse viewpoints. You do not need to be a member of a synagogue or have any previous Judaic knowledge. Or you may have attended a Jewish school your entire life and be heavily involved in your synagogue and youth group. Whatever your background you are welcome!


When do we meet?
- We meet Monday evenings, about twice a month. 


Where do we meet?
- Our first meeting is at the JCC. We strive to be inclusive so we are planning to meet at different community spaces throughout the year.


How is each session formatted?
- Each session, a different presenter will introduce a topic (usually one that students have requested) and facilitate a discussion or activity lasting for a little over an hour. The guest presenters are brought in specifically as they are connected to the particular topic. There will also be hearty individual snacks/light dinner provided *{see Covid precautions below}.


What if I need to miss some sessions?
- We know how busy teen schedules can be, and we are set up that students can miss a session when needed but still come to the next one and be completely connected and engaged. This is because each session is self-contained with a different topic.


What are some examples of topics?
- Students in the past have usually focused on three things - Social Justice, Israel, and what we will call Teen Issues. In recent years, we have explored Free Speech, Sexuality in Torah, Criminal Justice, Zionism, Suicide, Gun Control, Body Image, anti-Semitism, Israeli food, Refugees, and many many more topics, some heavy and some lighter.


Who is coordinating the program?
- We are so excited that Gavriel Siman-Tov will be coordinating this year. Gavriel is the Jewish Federation community shliach from Israel. He will be at each session and help the group to bond so all students feel safe to share their views. He will also find out what topics students are most interested in exploring and coordinate engaging presenters on those topics.


Who are the presenters?
- It all depends on the topic. In the past we have had doctors, lawyers, Rabbis, judges, professors, clergy from other faiths, police officers, and many others. We have had a presenter who was formally incarcerated and we have had a presenter who had just returned from a refugee camp in Bangladesh. We are sure that the Israeli community shliach will also be a presenter this year!


How much does this fabulous program cost?
- The tuition is $300 for the entire year and includes all dinners and sessions.
- There is also an optional day trip at the end of the year for which most of the trip costs are covered.
- We can point you to scholarship opportunities if needed.


How can I support?
- If you know a teen, encourage them to sign up NOW by emailing Gavriel at Gavriel@JFLV.org or Alicia at school@bethelallentown.org, or clicking the button above.
- You can also help by sponsoring a snack for our teens. For more details, email Alicia school@bethelallentown.org


How will Covid affect the program?
- At this time, masks are required at all times during the dialogue portion of the session, regardless of vaccination status. Eating will only be permitted during a specific snack time when students are to remain in designated seats distanced from one another, but still able to socialize. Snack time is the ONLY time unmasking is permitted.


Who do I contact for more information?
- Please email gavriel@jflv.org or school@bethelallentown.org. we can set up a time to chat to give you more details about the program.

Shalshelet is changing its name; enter our contest to rename it. We bring together teens (grades 10 to 12) from across the Lehigh Valley to explore Israel, Jewish life, leadership and more. 


Any teen can submit 1 name idea. Let’s hear your most creative submissions! Think outside the box and win a mystery box.