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High School Programs

Temple Emanu-El’s Religious School offers a variety of programs for teens in
grades 9 through 12, all created with the intent that Judaism should be something experienced and not just something learned.

Read about Emanu-El’s teen efforts in an article from The Jewish Week.

Following are summaries of each program with links for more information:

The A-TEEM: Religious School Internship (9th–12th Grade)
A-TEEM: The Assistant Temple Emanu-El Madrichim (Leaders) Program provides an opportunity for leadership and involvement in administrative and academic components of the Religious School. Students will work in the Religious School office, partner with experienced faculty to develop classroom lessons, and engage in study while building and strengthening relationships with classmates, clergy, staff and the greater Temple community. A-TEEM members earn a stipend for their participation in this program. Students may be eligible to earn community-service credit in lieu of the stipend, if approved by the student’s school.

Confirmation: Year-Long Program (9th–12th Grade)
Through our confirmation program, students and their classmates will come together for a year of experiential learning led by our clergy and Lifelong Learning staff. Students will participate in monthly sessions that include challenging intellectual exercises, engaging social activities, a wilderness hike, high-level study and self-reflection. The year culminates with a student-led ceremony on the Eve of Shavuot for the entire congregation: a rite of passage students will remember throughout their lives.

Students who participate in this program:

• Learn to live by Jewish values

• Begin to fulfill the demands of social responsibility

• Seek ways to actively shape the future of the Jewish people

• Become leaders in Emanu-El’s high school activities

Senior Youth Group (9th–12th Grade)
Participating in some or all of Temple Emanu-El’s Senior Temple Youth Group (TESTY) activities is a great way to make friends, experience one’s Jewish cultural identity and live their Jewish values. TESTY organizes a wide variety of events ranging from a dinner at Sammy’s Roumanian Restaurant to a “Midnight Run” around NYC tending to the homeless. The more students participate, the more connected they will feel with friends and the larger Emanu-El community.

Senior Youth Group Board (10th–12th Grade)
The TESTY board is the heart of our Grade 9-12 community. Members meet regularly to organize and run activities for fellow high schoolers. In doing so, students will develop and put into practice their leadership skills, strengthening their Jewish identity and values while making lifelong friends. In order to serve on the TESTY board in 2013-2014, students must have participated in at least one of the following activities during the last year:

• High School Confirmation

• Teen Volunteer Weekend


• Multiple Youth Group activities

Teen Benefit Committee (9th–12th Grade)
Want an “in” to the biggest party of the year? Then be a part of one of Emanu-El’s newest projects that’s making a difference across the globe! Created by two Emanu-El teens, the Teen Benefit is completely planned, produced and attended by teens. Our 2013 event raised more than $25,000 for American Jewish World Service. All high school students are eligible to become part of the planning committee. Committee members are required to attend all meetings, work on their designated responsibilities, present ideas to the committee, sell tickets and contribute enthusiastically at all times. Community-service hours may be available. Although the Teen Benefit Committee works hard throughout the year, monthly group dinners and a successful spring event make it all worthwhile. Meetings begin in the fall.

New Orleans Trip (9th–12th Grade)
Our annual weekend volunteer program provides an extended, intense and meaningful experience that builds strong friendships and shared values like no other program can. In 2009, we traveled to New Orleans to help rebuild a great American city. In 2010, we volunteered right here in New York City. In 2011, we traveled to the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC. In 2012, we helped rebuild houses in Birmingham, Ala., damaged by tornadoes. In 2013, we crossed the pond to London. In 2014 we will return to New Orleans.

Civil Rights Trip (9th Grade)
Ninth graders from Temple Emanu-El will join ninth graders from Temple Shaaray Tefila, Temple Israel and Stephen Wise Free Synagogue on this meaningful trip to the South to learn about the Civil Rights movement and the effect the Jewish community had on this important chapter of American history.

In order to participate in any of our high school programs, students must submit a completed registration form to the Office of Lifelong Learning. Please note: The student’s legal guardian must be a member of the congregation. For membership information, please call the Temple Office at (212) 744-1400, ext. 210, or download an application.

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