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Emeth Teen Community

Emeth Teen Community (ETC) on the Road (8th-12th grades)

Understanding the many ways in which our teens learn and seek social connections, Temple Emeth offers the Emeth Teen Community (ETC). ETC embraces and instills our core values: promoting Jewish knowledge; fostering Jewish community; and improving our world. One component of the program is “ETC on the Road,” a monthly trip-based program to take advantage of the rich cultural resources and Jewish infrastructure of the greater New York area.

In the past, ETC on the Road has brought us to the historic Lower East Side and to the Jewish Museum and the Hebrew Union College for guided tours. We traveled as a group to a local Jewish film festival and to Philadelphia to visit the Naional Constitution Center. In the last three years, we have toured the Hillel buildings at Rutgers, Columbia/Barnard, and Drexel.

Frequently asked questions about ETC on the Road:
How will teens be traveling to their different destinations? ETC on the Road will travel by bus or carpools to our various destinations. We strive to invite every parent to drive or chaperone at least one trip.

Do I sign up for the entire year, or can I sign up for individual trips? ETC on the Road is designed as a year-long program, during which social connections and Jewish themes are developed and nurtured. For this reason, registration is for the entire year and not for individual trips.

Can my Jewish friend who doesn’t go to Temple Emeth join ETC on the Road? ETC on the Road is open to all Jewish teens. If you have a Jewish friend in grades 8-12 who would like to be part of ETC on the Road for the entire year, have their parent or guardian contact Dora Geld Friedman, Religious School Director, at 201-833-8466.

What is included in my tuition fee? The tuition fee for ETC on the Road includes transportation and supervision for all trips during the year. (Some of the more expensive destinations may require a supplementary fee.) All participants will receive a T-shirt that students are asked to wear on trips. We will provide snacks, but plan to bring pocket money for trips to the gift shop or meals when advised to do so.

How do I register my teen in ETC on the Road? Download the application here.

Are scholarships or financial assistance available for ETC on the Road? We strive to make ETC on the Road accessible to everyone. If you would like to request a reduction in your ETC on the Road tuition, contact Dora Geld Friedman at 201-833-8466.

It looks like fun for adults too. Do you need chaperones? Depending on the length of the trip and the size of the group, we will need one or two parent chaperones for each program. If you would like to chaperone, contact Dora Geld Friedman at 201-833-8466.

Emeth Teen Community (ETC) Mitzvah (8th-12th grades)

Having the opportunity to do good in the world is important to our teens. ETC Mitzvah enables them to do this and form deep social connections at the same time.

ETC Mitzvah projects are scheduled monthly, usually on Sundays. Events tend to be in and around the Temple building. Recent projects have included:

  • Running booths at Temple Emeth's Purim Carnival
  • Particpating in the B'nai Mitzvah Learner's Service to help younger students learn about how to prepare for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah day
  • Planting daffodils in memory of the children who died in the Holocausts
  • Exploring hunger as part of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service with another congregation
  • Cooking a meal and eating with our guests at our Family Promise Program
  • Attending the Jewish Federation's Mitzvah Day in Paramus

    Download the application here

Confirmation

Confirmation has long been envisioned by Reform congregations as the opportunity for teens to better appreciate their tradition’s views about God and faith. In-depth study and discussion of theology are hallmarks of our tenth grade Confirmation process. In addition to studying pertinent excerpts from major Jewish writers, our teens will be able to ask and discuss questions like:

  • How do I see God’s role in the world?
  • How are my Jewish choices affected by my belief in God?
  • Can I doubt and still be Jewish?
  • How can disagreement about God be a force for good?

For more information on our Teen programs, contact us at 201-833-8466.

Other Teen Activities

Madrichim in the Religious School: It takes a village to educate a Jewish child. Our Religious School’s professional staff is often supplemented by our teens who volunteer as madrichim (Hebrew for “those who show the way”). Madrichim generally serve as assistants in the school office or as teacher’s aides in the classroom. For more information about being a madrichor madricha, contact Dora Geld Friedman at 201-833-8466.

Assistant Advisors to JYG and Jr. JYG: Junior Youth Group (JYG) is a monthly program designed to promote social connections among 5th to 7thgraders. Junior JYG is for 3rd to 5 thgrades. Under the direction of JYG advisor Lauren Blitz, participants enjoy dinner and games on selected Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Teens may serve as assistant advisors to learn about youth programming and offer Lauren an extra set of hands. For more information, call or text
Lauren at 201-218-4782.

Volunteering at the Bazaar, Shalach Manot, Gala: Our Temple fundraisers are a lot more successful (and fun) when our teens participate. Here is the schedule of our three most popular fundraisers:
  • Bazaar—Sunday, December 8, 2019
  • Shalach Manot—Packing and Delivery—March 5 and 8, 2020
  • Gala Dinner Dance—Saturday, June 13, 2020

Torah Readers at the High Holy Days (also any time they want): Temple Emeth invites our teens to refresh the skills they learned at their B’nai Mitzvah to read from the Torah at a Shabbat or festival service. This is a wonderful mitzvah and a service to the congregation. Teen Torah readers must be self-motivated, as they generally rehearse only once or twice before their designated service. To volunteer to read Torah, contact Cantor Ellen Tilem at cantoret@yahoo.com.

Religious Action Center (RAC) Trip to Washington for grades 10-12: The Religious Action Center (RAC) is the Reform Movement’s office in Washington, which advocates in our nation’s capital for the policies and values of our movement. Every year, the RAC offers the L’taken Teen Advocacy Seminar, known informally as “The RAC Trip.” This four-day, three-night program includes programming on Reform Jewish policy positions, the legislative process, tours of historic sites in Washington, and culminates in a trip to Capitol Hill to each participant’s senators and representatives office to deliver a an advocacy speech. Eligibility for the RAC Trip is limited to 10th to 12thgraders who are currently in Confirmation or ETC or who have completed Confirmation. For details, go to www.rac.org/ltaken.

NFTY-GER Regional Events: Temple Emeth’s youth program is part of the North American Federation of Temple Youth-Garden Empire Region (NFTY-GER). Regional events generally take place at synagogues and camps within a two-hour drive of Bergen County. This is a great way to meet new Jewish friends and learn more about Jewish identity.

Mark your calendar: Taste of NFTY event for 6th, 7th and 8th graders: December 6-8, 2019. For more information go to: https://gardenempire.nfty.org/

Summer Programs: NFTY in Israel and Mitzvah Corps: The Union for Reform Judaism runs several exciting summer programs for teens. To spend five weeks in Israel (often beginning with three days in Europe) for a life-changing experience, consider NFTY in Israel. For more information, go to https://nftyisrael.org.

For a way to make a make a difference and make great Jewish friends along the way, participate in Mitzvah Corps. This year domestic Mitzvah Corps locations include Chicago; Deep South; New Brunswick, NJ; New OrleansPacific Northwest; Warwick, NY. Go to https://mitzvahcorps.org.

Sat, December 14 2019 16 Kislev 5780