TWO VOICES: Q: How can youth connect with their Judaism over the summer?
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

TWO VOICES: Q: How can youth connect with their Judaism over the summer?

Two Voices
Two Voices

In this week’s Two Voices, our guests talk about how youth can connect with their Judaism over the summer.

Two Voices

Rabbi Pete Tobias
Rabbi Pete Tobias

Rabbi Pete Tobias says…

The question of how anyone keeps ‘in touch with their Judaism’ is an intriguing one, regardless of age or the time of year. It could be argued that a Jewish school has little impact on a young person’s Jewish knowledge.

At a recent Limmud conference, an Israeli rabbi who runs a one-year post-secondary school programme stated that participants from Jewish schools in the UK are way behind their contemporaries from Australia, South Africa and the USA. Religion School also has little impact – also largely as a result of Jewish schools, which have a detrimental effect on attendance. It is assumed that Jewish schools take on the mantle of providing children with a working knowledge of Judaism, but I fear that all they do is provide an environment filled with other Jewish children, the benefit of which is not entirely clear.

I believe summer offers our youngsters the greatest opportunity to connect with their Judaism in ways that no structured programme of education in any type of school can approach.

As you read this, hundreds of young British Jews are taking part in Israel programmes, from which they will soon return, hopefully enthused with a love for their heritage and culture.

Many more are about to go to residential summer camps organised by various UK Jewish movements, where they will encounter elements of being part of a Jewish community that no school can hope to emulate. My journey to the rabbinate wouldn’t have happened without the Liberal Jewish summer camp of Kadimah to inspire and focus it.

• Pete Tobias is rabbi at The Liberal Synagogue Elstree

Anna Craven
Anna Craven

Anna Craven says…

Summer can be an exciting time, with the chance to do something different, ensuring that Judaism isn’t confined to school or cheder.

Judaism is something to be celebrated and can be a strong part of a young person’s identity. I urge you and your children to get involved with your youth movement this summer. July and August should be the busiest time for youth to experience and enjoy their Judaism.

There are so many opportunities for everyone, from the ages of five to 25 – giving the chance to build people’s relationships with Judaism and Israel. Summer camp is a good place to start. Whether it’s Liberal Judaism’s Kadimah or a similar camp run by Jewish organisations across the UK, they are a brilliant way to make friends, while keeping up with Jewish learning.

For those celebrating the end of GCSEs, summer means an amazing trip on Israel tour. Many youth groups offer these to match your personal ideology. There are also Europe Tours for those of an older age group who want to discover more about the history of Jewish people on this continent. And for those looking to spend the summer interning or volunteering, there are summer programmes too.

A summer spent with a youth movement is a way to get a Jewish experience and identity that doesn’t happen in term-time.

• Anna Craven is an LJY-Netzer movement worker

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments