About our Directors of Informal Youth Programming:
Rebeca Berger graduated from American University in 2017 and works in NYC executing strategic marketing and public relations campaigns for a global accounting firm. Rebeca has been a very popular teacher in Family School for the past 3 years, after having been one of the charter “pioneers” of Family School with her family in the mid-2000s. She is a past BHSS youth group president, graduated from our Kadimah program, and has chaperoned and attended RAC trips for 9 years. Her high enthusiasm and PR experience will certainly be an asset for youth group events in the year to come.
“Hi everyone! Growing up, I was so proud to call BHSS my Jewish home even though I lived half an hour away. I spent multiple days a week learning, making friends, and attending events at the synagogue that helped shape my Jewish identity. I’m excited to inspire the next generation of youth to open their eyes as to how much fun being Jewish can be through meaningful connections, social action, and memorable experiences.”
Samantha “Sam” Spencer is a 2019 University of Vermont graduate with a degree in Elementary Education, Special Education, and American Sign Language. She currently is teaching third and fourth grade at the Solomon Schechter Jewish day school in Oakland, NJ. She lives in Ramsey. In high school, she was actively involved in the temple. She is a past BHSS youth group president, a past member of NFTY GER, and graduated from our Kadimah program. She spent many summers growing up at URJ Eisner Camp! Sam began teaching fourth grade in our religious school this past September and has been a great asset to the staff. Her creativity and knowledge of new tech tools and communications avenues (using Tik Tok, for example) are going to continue to be huge assets.
“Hello! I am so excited to continue to work with youth at BHSS! I am grateful for the mentors and role models that helped shape me when I was in youth group during high school. I am eager to meet everyone and be the new Senior Youth Group Advisor!”
Sam will be the lead advisor for our senior youth group (grades 9-12) and Rebeca for the junior youth group (grades 6-8) and together they will facilitate programming for the Menschmakers (grades 3 – 5)!
YOUTH GROUP NEWS
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More events for our younger students, grades K-2! See below for dates.
About our Youth Groups: Beth Haverim Shir Shalom offers Jewish youth programming for grades K-12. Membership is open to all Jewish children grades K-12, regardless of temple membership/affiliation. The programming includes interactive social and Judaic programming, which is designed to enhance the Jewish experiences and identities of our members. We seek to further these goals: to unite the youth of the Beth Haverim Shir Shalom membership and membership region; to provide the youth with an environment in which they are able to learn about the culture, religious and social aspects of Reform Judaism; to build for its individual members richer Jewish identities through a heightened religious consciousness and fuller knowledge of our Jewish heritage; to develop an awareness of, an interest in moral, religious and social aspects of Reform Judaism and their relevance to today’s society; and to prepare the members of the group for responsible Jewish adulthood and for intelligent and loyal shouldering of responsibilities of mature members of their congregations and their communities. Directors of Informal Youth Programming Samantha Spencer and Rebeca Berger can be emailed at [email protected].
Congratulations to the Newly-Elected BHSSTY 2021-2022 Board:
Co-Presidents – Tai Weiss and Leah Wolf
Social Action Vice President: Annabel Theodore
Religious & Cultural Vice President: Brian Ritchin
Junior Youth Group Liaison: Cora Einhorn
The Menschmakers is open to grades 3-5. There are both in-temple and out-of-temple varied events. Menschmakers programming includes community service, too! The cost of membership for the Menschmakers is $25.00 for temple members and $60.00 for non-temple members.
The Junior Youth Group is open to grades 6-8. There are both in-temple and out-of-temple events. Some events which we have enjoyed are laser-tag, monster mini-golf, game nights, popcorn and movie nights, karaoke party, camping, water parks, and so much more. The cost of membership for the JYG is $40.00 for temple members and $100.00 for non-temple members. Students in these grades can also participate in select NFTY events!
BHSSTY is the 9th-12th grade youth group. We do all sorts of fun activities both in and out of the temple. For example, we go to NYC, apple picking, hiking, movie nights, karoke nights, Mall Scavenger Hunt, ice skating, and more. By being a member of the youth group, you get discounted rates for events. The cost of membership for the youth group is: $50.00 for temple members and $100.00 for non-temple members. Membership in BHSSTY also allows you to be a member of NFTY – GER or the North American Federation of Temple Youth – Garden Empire Region. This is a regional youth group for all of New Jersey and Central New York. They have Kallot, or retreats, throughout the region at various times throughout the year. It is a chance to spend time with friends, stay up late, learn something fun and interesting about Judaism in a new way, sing songs, and really so much more. The GER events are either over a weekend at a host synagogue or for a few days at one of the regional camps. BHSSTY also provides the opportunity for the 9th-12th graders to learn more about themselves as leaders. BHSSTY has a student elected board, who plans and runs all or our events throughout the year. This is done with the guidance of our advisor Samantha Spencer. If you’d like more information about student leadership positions within Beth Haverim Shir Shalom Temple Youth Group, please contact one of the current board members.