TBE Youth Blog

Reflections on life among TBE Youth by Dara Gever, the Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Beth El

Temple Beth El Teens Honored by Incredible Summer Leadership Opportunity

At Temple Beth El, we are thrilled to be a part of every step of our kids’ Jewish journeys.  From Tot Shabbat, to Religious School and Katanty (our junior youth groups), to Teen Band and Teen Vocal Ensemble, to our madrichim teen mentoring program and LIBERTY, our senior youth group, Temple Beth El is proud to nurture our youth in Jewish leadership.

We are thrilled to announce that one of our very own rising juniors, David Czarlinsky, was selected as a member of the 2014 cohort of the URJ Kutz Camp’s prestigious Kutz Fellowship.  URJ Kutz Camp, located in Warwick, NY, is our movement’s teen leadership development summer program, established in 1965. The Fellowship, which was launched in 2009, is a unique leadership opportunity under the Union for Reform Judaism’s Campaign for Youth Engagement. Focused specifically on peer-to-peer engagement, this merit-based Fellowship helps equip teens with the skills of peer-to-peer engagement, inclusion, and community organizing. In its six years, the Fellowship has produced fifty-one Fellows, all of whom have returned home better equipped to address the unique challenges we are facing as a Jewish people.
As a Kutz Fellow, David will work with his peers in the Fellowship alongside adult mentors in camp, including many influential leaders of the URJ. Upon returning home, he will work alongside Rabbi Judy to create a project or program here in our congregation to better meet the interests of our unengaged, under-engaged, and disengaged teens.

In addition to the Fellowship, David will be participating in the Mitzvah Corps Major at Kutz, where he will develop skills geared especially towards special needs inclusion, specifically working with teens diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). He will build out his customized schedule by selecting areas of interest to pursue as minors and electives at camp, all of which he will bring back to Temple Beth-El, our youth group, and NFTY-SAR.

Camp Kutz will also be the site of the NFTY general board meeting where Temple Beth El’s Debbie Rabinovich will be installed as the new NFTY North American board president.  Debbie served on Temple Beth El’s LIBERTY youth group board as Religious and Cultural Vice President, and on NFTY SAR regional board as president of the Southern Area Region.  She is now taking leadership to the next level by serving Jewish youth around the country as our next NFTY president.
We are tremendously proud of David and Debbie, and cannot wait to see what they do with this wonderful opportunity at Camp Kutz!

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