Building the future of Judaism starts with building our youth. The youth groups at Congregation Beth Tikvah expand upon the education and friendships started in the classroom to build a strong Jewish identity and connection to our synagogue and the Jewish community as a whole. We have several youth groups designed to match the different ages and interests of our youth.
Congregation Beth Tikvah is dedicated to our youth and their involvement in our synagogue and each other. These youth are the Jewish leaders of tomorrow and that is a future to which we can all look forward. Each group provides its own unique activities and experiences to engage our participants. Please read the descriptions below to find out where your child belongs.
Please check the calendar for upcoming youth activities, dates, place and fees.
Download a youth group registration form from our forms library.
BethTY (grades 9-12)
BethTY is the ultimate experience for high school teens who enjoy the responsibilities of planning and implementing all of their events. BethTY elects a teen leadership board each year that helps design and plan the calendar of events for the year. Our members are also actively involved regionally in the National Federation of Temple Youth - Ohio Valley Region (NFTY-OVR), allowing them to make new friends and meet other Jewish teens from around the nation. Many of these relationships will last a lifetime.
Junior BethTY (grades 6-8)
Junior BethTY is most-definitely the group for your middle school teen as a youth experience that will carry with them for years to come. These are students that have formed bonds throughout their religious school experience and are learning independence skills. Activities for this group are planned and organized through input from the students.
Jr. Jr. Youth Group (grades 3-5)
This group represents the "next step" in a child's involvement in Jewish social activities. Programs generally take place every other month, from September to May, and are usually on Sunday. Participants enjoy tikkun olam, religious, and social programs.
Keshet (grades K-2)
Keshet is one of the first social steps in a child's life, enabling him/her to be part of a fulfilling social gathering of children of similar ages. This group is designed to foster friendships and relationship among the children as well as the parents. In this beginning youth group, children take part in many exciting activities including arts and crafts, cooking, sports, and much more. Certain Judaic components are infused into these creative activities, helping the children become more familiar with different holidays and customs. Keshet is an excellent way to begin your child's life of Judaism in a positive, social environment.
There are thousands of summers camps across the world. Finding the one right for your child is important. The Foundation for Jewish Camp is an organization dedicated to Jewish camp life. They provide an excellent list of resources. Locating a camp, preparing your child, preparing yourself, financial assistance and many more resources can all be found on their website. Please visit www.jewishcamp.org/camps
The URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) operates thirteen camps across North America. The mission of the URJ Camps and Israel Programs is to enrich and transform lives by strengthening Jewish identity, teaching Jewish knowledge, instilling Jewish values and cultivating lifelong friendships within a vibrant and fun community of living Reform Judaism.
They fulfill their mission through their commitment to the following core values:
G.U.C.I. is a Reform Jewish Movement summer camp serving the Midwest since 1958. The Leadership Staff, Counselors and Faculty create a warm, friendly environment and program that includes creative and experiential Jewish education, arts, sports, and swimming activities. GUCI’s trained staff assures each camper and helps as they adjust, enjoy, learn and grow throughout the summer.
For more information, please visit:
Both Beth Tikvah and the Columbus Jewish Federation offer scholarships for Jewish youth in the Columbus area to attend Jewish overnight summer camps.
Applications for Beth Tikvah scholarships must be completed and submitted by January 31, 2011.
A representative from the Finance Committee will contact each applicant, with a final reply by mid-February. Download Application
Incentive grants of $1000 are available through the Columbus Jewish Federation for first-time campers attending Jewish overnight camps for 3 weeks or longer. Apply at www.onehappycamper.org
The Columbus Jewish Federation also offers need-based scholarships. For information about camp scholarships from the Federation, contact Marla Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) has offered thousands of young people the opportunity to explore and live Reform Judaism. Over 750 Reform congregations throughout North America sponsor Temple Youth Groups, bringing the NFTY experience to more than 10,000 high school-age young people in grades 9 thru 12. There are 19 NFTY regions, and on the North American level, NFTYites strive to forge an identity in consonance with the goals and values of Reform Judaism.
NFTY functions as a youth organization, an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), as well as a program of the Union for Reform Judaism. NFTYites forge and build friendships, lifelong Reform Jewish identities, and leadership skills through community building, worship, social action, and experiential youth-led Jewish educational programming. Many NFTYites serve as NFTY leaders on the local TYG, regional, and even North American levels. Many NFTY Leaders continue on to become both lay and professional leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement.
Congregation Beth Tikvah BethTY belongs to the NFTY-OVR (Ohio Valley Region), including Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.
To learn more about NFTY and find out all the possiblilies they have to offer please visit www.nfty.org
College Connection offers Beth Tikvah college (and post grad) students a chance to maintain a connection with our Temple community. Our goal is to reach out to our Temple’s young adults while they are attending college and hopefully encourage them to continue to seek opportunities to keep in touch with their Jewish traditions.
Some of the activities for college students include:
How to Stay Connected to Judaism on Campus
Going off to college can be an exciting, yet overwhelming journey. As you set off into the world of independence you can find yourself yearning for family traditions during the holidays if you are far from home. Staying connected to your Jewish roots on campus is easy to do by asking a few questions and spending a bit of time researching the Internet. Major universities and colleges, as well as many smaller schools have a Hillel: The Foundation for Campus Life.
There are many programs designed to enable teens, college students, and young adults the ability to experience Israel first hand. Below is a list of resources for you to explore.
Programs for College Students and Young Adults
Israel Experience – Columbus Jewish FederationDuring High School, teen grants are available for up to $2,000. As college students, and post-university, ages 17 -27, you are also entitled to a second grant, valued up to $2,500 for an approved trip. Free 10-day trips to Israel for college students and young adults who have not previously traveled to Israel on a peer trip. Livnot programs combine community service with hiking, touring and learning, allowing participants to explore their Jewish roots. Programs range from one week to five months. The mission of Volunteers for Israel (VFI) is to connect Americans to Israel through volunteer service. Shorashim's programs connect Americans directly with Israelis. A summer program for students who want to spend their summer during college volunteering in Israel. Amirim offers participants 4 to 8 weeks in either Jerusalem or Bat Yam volunteering and living in YJ apartments. An internship program for college grads WUJS Israel Hadassah provides the ultimate Israel Experience for young Jewish adults from around the world. Newly based in the simultaneously ancient, historic and modern cities of Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, WUJS Israel Hadassah provides you with the opportunity to either intern in one of Israel's leading companies or organizations, study the foundations of Judaism and Zionism or develop your artistic talent all within a dynamic, safe environment. Information about Tzofim Chetz V'Keshet and Tzofim Keshet, programs of the Friends of Israel Scouts-Tzofim. This summer program in Jewish medical ethics is for students with a background in Jewish learning and is open to any student interested in the field of medicine including pre-med, med and dental students, residents, doctors, psychologists, and graduate students in the field of ethics. The program includes lectures, independent learning, hospital rounds, accommodations and tours of Israel. The program's goals are to provide in-depth lectures and discourse on medical-Halachic topics and to bridge the complex worlds of medicine, ethics, and Halacha for the physicians of tomorrow. The Career Israel Short Track is a 2-4 month professional internship program open to college/university students and graduates from all over the world. This Kibbutz Ulpan provides the unique experience of working with Israelis on a kibbutz while at the same time offering classes in the language itself. Participants work on the kibbutz for half of the week and study in Ulpan for the other half, thus having the chance to utilize the Hebrew they are learning in an authentic Israeli setting. The Magen David Adom volunteer program is an amazing opportunity for you to serve Israel, where it is most needed. Volunteers are trained for one intensive week of study in Jerusalem and work on ambulances in all of Israel's major cities for 4-5 weeks. The Marva Course was created in 1981 with the objective of giving young Jewish adults in the Diaspora ages 18-28 the opportunity to experience life in Israel through an army experience. The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, a nondenominational coed institute of Jewish studies in Jerusalem, offers one week sessions in January and one month sessions over the summer. Masa Israel Journey, Your Gateway to Long-term Israel Programs, enables thousands of Jewish young adults to spend a semester to a year in Israel in over 150 approved programs by providing information, contacts, grants and more. More and more colleges and universities are encouraging teens to take a year between high school and college. Known as the Gap Year, this special year enables high school graduates to volunteer, learn, travel, and expand their horizons. Masa Israel Journey provides a directory of Gap Year programs in Israel, plus information about a universal $1,000 grant and additional financial need funding.