Our Teen Programs are focused on empowering our students to become passionate and creative leaders and role models. Our programs create lasting memories and prepare our teens for the future. In addition to our programs during the school year, we offer a number of immersive trip experiences. Learn about them and other opportunities for family engagement! Looking to get involved but don’t know how? Have an idea for a program? Is there something you’d like to learn more about? Or do you just want to get together with Temple Teens to learn, give back and have fun? Contact Em Besthoff to speak about options and to get added to the email list so you don’t miss any upcoming programs!

8th – 12th Grade Program Information

Teen Philanthropic Committee 

This program is a full-year commitment to take a leadership role in determining where $10,000 of Emanu-El’s yearly philanthropic funds are allocated. From choosing an issue area and learning how to come to consensus, to creating an RFP and administering a grants process with presentations and follow up, these teens work hard to represent Emanu-El to potential grantees and the chosen organizational recipient. This educational process includes exploration of everyone’s Jewish identity and consideration of important values that guide decision-making in day-to-day life This program is open to 8th-12th graders.

Teen Leadership Council

The Teen Leadership Council (TLC) spearheads teen social programming and mitzvah projects, collaborating closely with Teen Advisor Emma Kate Lindsay. All programs, including Teen Hot Topics discussions on social justice and Anti-Semitism led by teen co-chairs, are open to Emanu-El teens. Open to all 8th-12th graders, these initiatives aim to cultivate resilience, meaningful dialogue, and a supportive community environment for Emanu-El teens.


A-TEEM is our Religious School’s madrichim (teachers’ aide) program.. From being in classrooms to counting Tzedakah, these teens play a large role in helping our Religious School thrive! We meet before starting our day to check in, go over the schedule for the day, and review progress on personal goals for the year. A-TEEMers work on Sunday mornings from 9:00am-12:00pm or Monday evenings 4:00pm-6:00pm. Teens have the option to be paid for their time or put their hours towards community service. Formal full-time A-TEEM is a 9th-12th grade offering, however we are hoping to have “A-TEEM in Training” as one of our options for our 8th graders. 

Calling Generations 

Calling Generations is our way to connect teens with the deep history and legacy of Emanu-El’s community. Participating teens are matched with a senior adult Temple member for weekly phone calls, with suggested discussion ranging from sports to movies to food. Some of these incredible intergenerational relationships follow through all 4 years of high school and beyond! Some even go as far as to meet for lunch once a month! This year we’re expanding the program to include opportunities for teens and calling partners to work together on in-person service projects. This program is open to 8th-12th graders.

Teen High Holy Days 

Start the Jewish new year off by taking a leadership role in our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services and lead an iyyun (prayer reflection).  Over the summer teens will work with Temple clergy and staff to prepare for the High Holy Days, gain a better understanding of a particular prayer and craft their short piece.  Teens will present iyyunim during the services to help teens and families connect to the prayers.


Confirmation is the highest level of formal Religious School instruction. This monthly class taught by Rabbi Davidson explores questions of Jewish identity: specifically, our relationship to God, Torah, and the land, people, and state of Israel. Even if your teen did not continue in Religious School after B’nei Mitzvah, we welcome them into these conversations. The curriculum is informal and discussion-based and culminates in a service of Confirmation on the festival of Shavuot in June. The class writes the service, which offers everyone an opportunity to express their thoughts on the topics covered during the year. Confirmation is open to students in 9th or 10th grade only.