A project of YOUR synagogue, NFTY & Camp Newman!
This program is part of the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative, with support provided by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, Jim Joseph Foundation, and additional local funders.
An innovative, virtual experience for 8th-12th graders where you can pursue a passion, spark your curiosity, take action on issues that matter to you and create lasting friendships!
- Choose a track (Eco-Judaism, Arts, Justice Work or Leadership), choose a major** and choose electives* to create your own experience
- Belong to a community of passionate, caring, FUN teens
Live your values through meaningful, relevant and joyful Judaism
- Create and strengthen lasting friendships and mentor-relationships
*Teens choose from a variety of electives including ukulele, Advocacy 101, Jewish cooking, puppet-making, embroidery, Civic Engagement, yoga & meditation, and more, giving them the chance to take a deep-dive AND try something new this summer!
**Please note that specific majors and elective offerings will depend on minimum enrollment. There will be no more than 10 participants in a major or elective.
Eco-Judaism – Rishonim: 8th & 9th Grade
Rishonim is a young leadership track dedicated to eco-Judaism with programming that focuses on the intersection of nature, Judaism and tikkun olam. Teens will learn how to be better Jewish caretakers of our planet while bonding with peers.
Art – Hagigah: 10th-12th Grade – Staff: Tal Mizrahi (evening programs)
Songleading: Dan Nichols
Paper-Cutting and Protest Art: Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik & Rabbi Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik
Tallit Design and Painting: Debbie Harris
Hagigah will offer art intensive majors (1 hr/day, everyday) taught by experienced artists and instructors, including tallitot making, songleading, paper-cutting, and more! Our Hagigah teens will also be able to pick from a wide variety of electives, which will include everything from Virtual Advocacy 101 to ukelele! (Tallitot and paper-cutting require supplies and lists will be sent to families on Wednesday, June 22nd so you can get everything in time!)
Justice Work – Hevrah: 10th-12th Grade – Staff: Josh Burg and Liana Friedman
Hevrah is our Social Justice, Action and Advocacy track. Experienced social justice leaders will teach our Hevrah teens how to have their voice heard and how to use their voices to help others, especially in the virtual world. If participating in protests or fighting for what’s right is what you want to be doing, come and learn more about how to be a teen social justice leader. No previous experience is necessary, simply a strong interest in social justice. Hevrah teens will select a major (Protest Art, Advocacy & Lobbying, etc.) as well as an elective.
Leadership – Yitro: 10th-12th Grade – Staff: Rachel Dubowe, Matt Ghan, Ben Haberman, and NFTY North American Board Members
Yitro is our brand new innovative leadership track, offering emerging and developing teen leaders two majors to choose from in addition to a variety of electives:
Major: Leadership in Temple Youth Group, Regional Boards, and Beyond
This major will focus on being a teen leader in a Jewish environment, whether you hold an official board position in your temple youth group or your NFTY/BBYO region, or any other Jewish teen organization, or are interested in developing skills to lead by example. The programs and special guest speakers will focus on temple youth group leadership, peer to peer engagement as seen in college Hillels, leadership in a NFTY space and what it means to be a Jewish leader beyond our Jewish environments.
Tuition for TeenFest is $200 for two weeks of an amazing virtual teen experience, two inspiring Shabbat experiences, as well as an exclusive Camp Newman swag box. Enrolled teens will receive their Camp Swag Box around July 15th.
All TeenFest Tracks will run from 3:00pm-5:15pm PT Monday-Friday. There will be a community Shabbat experience Fridays 7/3 and 7/10 as well as a final TeenFest Celebration on Saturday, 7/11 starting at 4:30pm.
Sample Daily Schedule
3:00-4:00 Major Time in your Track
4:00-4:30 Hang-out (Chofesh) in your Track
Friday programming will transition into Kabbalat Shabbat services from 5:30-6:15 and then we'll return for Shira (song session) and Rikud (Israeli Dancing) at 7:30pm.
In order to get the best and fullest experience from this highly specialized program lead by experienced artists, facilitators and community leaders, we strongly recommend they participate in the full two weeks. Some majors will last for two weeks (such as song-leading) while others will last for one week, allowing teens to select a second major to dive into. We hope that teens signed up for TeenFest will fully participate. Please note that once enrolled, fees are non-refundable and cannot be pro-rated. If you have concerns or extenuating circumstances, please let us know!
Registration for TeenFest is now closed.
Depending on what a teen selects for their major and elective, you may need to purchase supplies ahead of time, in particular for some of our fine art based Hagigah majors (like tallitot creation). Many of the majors will require little to no special supplies or equipment and all supply lists will be provided in advance of selecting a major.
You will receive a link to a "Major & Elective Selection Form" within a few days of enrollment for teen participants to complete. Supply lists for each major and elective will be available so that you can prepare ahead of time.
Trained counselors, staff or faculty will be assigned to each major, elective, chavurah and evening program to ensure that teens are engaged, to answer questions, provide mentorship, facilitate activities and make sure everyone is engaging respectfully.
You will receive a copy of our Virtual Camp Guidelines and each teen will be required to participate in an orientation session the week prior to TeenFest. Each session will be recorded. Chat features and screen-sharing will be limited and monitored by a counselor, staff member or faculty.
If you have a credit in your account to be used for future programs, TeenFest tuition will be deducted from that credit. If you are waiting for a refund, TeenFest tuition will be deducted from your refund.