Teens! What Are We Going to Do With Them?
From rampant emotions to social media to over-programming to blossoming hormones—those who work with teenagers know how frustrating and complicated and rewarding it can be. How do we attract teens in our communities to JCC programming and keep them returning? How do we supervise teens who are staffing our programs? How do we make sure they are growing socially, emotionally and Jewishly? The Teen Track will be the place where we get to discuss it all.
Teen Job Track Leader: Andi Meiseles | Educational Consultant
Andi is an educational consultant for JCC Association of North America working on a variety of professional development and curricular initiatives. She is a veteran professional in teen education and engagement. She has held positions at JCCs in New Jersey and Philadelphia and spent many years in the youth movement world, including as a regional director, camp director and head of a gap year program in Israel.
Session Title #1: Connecting and Sharing— Forming Our Learning and Networking Group
Speaker: Samantha Cohen, Vice President, JCC Maccabi®
Description: Come to this session ready to share about a success and an area of struggle or concern. We will use the power of peer interaction to learn together and help each other navigate our world with teens. We will be joined at the end of the session by Samantha Cohen, vice president, JCC Maccabi®.
Session Title #2: The Role of JCCs and Hillel: A Partnership in Preparing Teens for College
Speaker: Aaron Weil, Executive Director and CEO at Central Florida Hillel
Description: Getting ready to think about steps after high school can be overwhelming. What do teens know about college? How do they navigate all the ins and outs of applications? Big schools versus small ones? Jewish life on campus? Join Hillel Executive Director Aaron Weil to explore how we can help our teens prepare for their college search, application and admissions process
Session Title #3: Maximizing Potential—In the Teens We Work With, and in Our JCCs
Speaker: Beth Garfinkle Hancock, Chizuk Director & Program Manager of JCC LTI
Description: As we design teen programs we ask, “What are our goals? How are we maximizing the potential of Jewish teens?” We need to model and maximize our impact; not only in our programs, but also for ourselves. In this session, we will take a metaphorical bicycle ride as we evaluate our achievements and our potential, emotionally, physically, and Jewishly, while identifying practices that can also be applied to our programming.
Session Title #4:
Part 1 – Building Affirming and Embracing Spaces for LGBTQ Youth
Speaker: Daniel Bahner, National Director of Education and Training, Keshet
Description: Now more than ever, LGBTQ youth, especially trans and non-binary youth, need to know that their Jewish spaces will celebrate and embrace all facets of their identity. In this session, we will discuss the specific needs of LGBTQ youth, offer best practices and activities for those working directly with LGBTQ, and explore how to build a culture of inclusion among your entire youth community. We will specifically discuss ways to normalize the sharing of programs, how to support folks who are coming out or questioning, how to talk to young people about sexuality and attraction, and how we can work with your young people to better empathize with those who are different from them.
Part 2 – JResponse: Preparing for Emergencies—How to Talk to Families and Kids After a Crisis (Joint with Camp and Children/Afterschool Track)
Speaker: Dr. Deborah Gilboa, Parenting and Youth Development Expert
Description: What do we need to have in place for ourselves, our teens and our staff if a crisis arises at our JCC or in our community? Learn about the JResponse program and explore together how to prepare for challenges we might face.
Session Title #5: Building a Great Team (Joint with Children/Afterschool Track)
Description: Teamwork is the key to effective organizations, decision-making and change. Whether you’re working with a camp staff, an advisory committee or a team of colleagues, experience ways you can enhance the group dynamics to maximize a positive and energetic work environment.