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To counter the trend of Jewish teens dropping out of organized Jewish life, The Jewish Education Project works with individuals, institutions, and communities to find innovative and meaningful ways to engage Jewish teens in today’s ever changing world.

Learn more about our work in teen engagement:

Current Projects:

Past Initiatives:


Current Projects:

New York Teen Initiative for Immersive Summer Experiences for Jewish Teens

Today's teens are different than those of prior generations. They are seeking different program models and opportunities for the summer months. Thousands of New York teens DO NOT participate in Jewish summer programs and the current marketplace does not meet their needs.

In order to expand the marketplace of options for New York’s Jewish Teens, The Jewish Education Project and UJA-Federation of New York are launching a cohort of 8 new summer programs designed to match specific interests and needs of Jewish teens in New York.  The programs will all be part of a nurturing Incubator experience and will receive start up support from the newly formed New York Teen Initiative for Immersive Summer Experiences for Jewish Teens, a $9.2 million, four year initiative supported by the Jim Joseph Foundation and UJA-Federation of NY.

The full list of new programs include:

To learn more about the 2015 cohort, please contact Susan Holzman Wachsstock.

Operation Game Changer

The Jewish Education Project launched Operation Game Changer to address the challenge of increasing post Bnei Mitzvah youth participation in Jewish education and communal life. Our expert coaches guide teams of youth professionals, educators, clergy and lay leaders to develop and implement new approaches to Jewish education and engagement for teens.

To learn more about the 2014 cohort of Operation Game Changer, contact Les Skolnik. 

The Westchester Jewish Teen Learning Initiative

Today's teens are all about options, personalization, and choice. The Westchester Jewish Teen Learning Initiative offers an individualized and personalized path for learning, engagement and growth.  The pilot year has just begun - click here to learn how to get your teens connected today.


The Jewish Education Project hosts multiple webinars every year on topics relevant to youth professionals across North America.  These webinars place key issues and cutting-edge topics on the agenda of youth professionals and youth organizations.  The wide reach of these webinars also enables lay leaders and other communal professionals to learn about current trends and issues of concern in Jewish education and teen life.  Past webinar topics have included “Digital Learners,” “What Practitioners Need to Know NOW: Engaging Jewish Teens” and “Clothing and Teens: What They’re Wearing and What We Can Learn about Jewish Identity.”

For information on this year’s webinar series, click here.

Professional Development

The Jewish Education Project provides quality professional development opportunities for the youth professionals in our networks, balancing their individual personal development requests with experts and training to which they would otherwise not have access.  Youth professionals attend both regional events, delivered separately to each of our three regions (Five Boroughs, Long Island, and Westchester), and cross-regional events in which we bring youth professionals together from across the New York area, providing unparalleled opportunities for communal learning, sharing, and networking.  Our most recent sessions included a Marketing and Branding workshop by Brandraising expert Sarah Durham of Big Duck, a session on “What Colleges Are Really Looking For” by a former College Admissions officer at Columbia University, and a terrific eye-opening session with Matt Cohen and Jillian Curran of MTV, who presented their study on Young Millennials to 80 youth professionals from the New York area.Our very own Jamie Betesh, Associate Director of Strategic Research and Insights at The Jewish Education Project, then led participants in a workshop in which they learned the fundamentals of human-centered design, the importance and necessity of understanding one's teens in order to design for them and address their needs, and guidance and practical tips for learning about their own teens.

Long Island Jewish Teen Directors Network

Our Long Island Jewish Teen Directors Network is a dynamic and collaborative group of full-time Jewish Teen Directors, both regional and local.  The group meets once a month for three main purposes: networking, professional development, and collaboration.  By sharing their successes and challenges with each other, as well as getting to know each other personally and professionally, their networking helps elevate their work and the work of teen engagement on Long Island.  The professional development component includes sessions based on preferences and professional needs.The network’s focus on collaboration was one of its most successful endeavors.  

Past Initiatives:

Community Events

The Jewish Education Project collaborates with multiple organizations to produce two types of community events. Teen Community Events are for teens only.  Teens from different organizations participate, and often help plan and facilitate these educational or social programs.  At other events, teens and parents join together to learn and engage in conversation about an issue affecting teens today, often through a specific Jewish lens.

Learn more about Teen Community Events here.


What Does Food Mean To You?
JewFoodie brings Jewish food to life with amazing cooking videos, recipes, chef’s tips, culinary techniques, and the stories and traditions behind each dish. From Syrian Kousa Mahshi, to Ashkenazi Matzah Ball Soup, Israeli Shakshuka, and American Challah French Toast, Jewish food is at once personal and global, ancient and modern, rooted in tradition and forever evolving.Explore contemporary food issues through a Jewish lens, contemplate what our shared Jewish history can teach us about food and our bodies, learn fun Jewish food facts, experiment with recipes from around the world, and extend the learning out of the classroom and into the kitchen and home.

Learn more about JewFoodie here.

Project InCiTE

Project InCiTE’s 20 fellows are developing innovative new projects—focusing on teen engagement with Israel and Jewish peoplehood. Fellows received formal creativity training by SIT (Systematic Inventive Thinking) preceding and during the project design phase of the program. Project InCiTE is a partnership between The Jewish Education Project and the iCenter, and it is funded through generous support from the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the Jim Joseph Foundation—in collaboration with MAKOM, the educational branch of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

We are pleased to share what we have learned through our experiences during Project InCiTE, and  invite you to glean insights  from the perspectives of innovation and Israel education.

Project InCiTE Findings: 
Ten Things We've Learned About Innovation
Contributions to the Field of Israel Education

View the Project Incite website.


New Research Study: Engaging Jewish Teens

In collaboration with The Experiment in Teen Engagement Task Force of UJA-Federation of New York, The Jewish Education Project commissioned The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University to carry out research on Jewish teens, their parents and communal professionals.  Funded by UJA-Federation of New York, Engaging Jewish Teens describes Jewish teens, their everyday reality, and the factors that contribute to or detract from their engagement in Jewish life.

 Read the full report and executive summary here.

For more information about the Teen Department, contact Stephanie Adelman  at

141 people from 66 congregations participated in 11 professional networks.