Navigating social groups and developing a life outside the nuclear family is a vital part of a teen’s life. The Lehigh Valley is home to many youth groups that cater to the needs of Jewish teens.
The Allentown chapter of United Synagogue Youth (USY) meets through Temple Beth El and includes lots of social activities, including the Fall Regional Convention and tikkun olam (repair the world) projects.
Congregation Sons of Israel hosts a chapter of the Orthodox youth group NCSY and offers monthly activities such as bowling, ice skating, movie nights and Bnei Akiva, which meets Saturday afternoons in the synagogue for socializing and discussions.
The youth group BBYO gets involved in social justice and lots of fun activities throughout the year, including their annual Up All Night event at the JCC. The JCC also hosts a teen basketball league under the guidance of Coach Terrence Baker.
Tenth, 11th and 12th graders can keep up their connections with other Jewish teens through the Shalshelet program for high schoolers, held at Temple Beth El but open to teens from throughout the Lehigh Valley.
Chabad of the Lehigh Valley has met with great success with the Friendship Circle, a program that unites teenage volunteers and special needs children in a friendship that deeply enriches both lives.
Congregation Am Haskalah offers a teen program called TEL (Teen: Experience and Learning), based on a Jewish Reconstructionist Communities program. It includes two retreats per year and a monthly two-hour experiental learning activity. Congregation Keneseth Israel offers a social outlet for teens through their ever-expanding Keneseth Israel Temple Youth (KITY), which is a lot of fun and easy to join.
In the Lehigh Valley, there are plenty of opportunities to provide your teen with a robust Jewish social life. To learn more about these organizations, visit our Community Directory.