Home March 2012 A Taste of What’s To Come

A Taste of What’s To Come

The years following a Bar/Bat Mitzvah in a young Jew’s life can seem as vast as the desert itself.  What lies beyond that ultimate day for so many of our seventh graders is a mystery. The job of educating our youth on “what comes next?” has come to the forefront of the Jewish community it recent years.  Now, more than ever, we are coming together as a Jewish community to offer meaningful opportunities for our teens, so that they stay connected to their Jewish selves.
The Orange County Bureau of Jewish Education has been working with local congregations and Jewish organizations to ensure that as our pre-teens become teens they continue to “Do Jewish.”  TALIT Nation is the core program at the Bureau that has been keeping teens engaged with “Doing Jewish” for more then 30 years.  Teens in 9th to 12th grade come together for three retreats each year to mold their Jewish identities in a camp setting.  These retreats allow teens the freedom and space to explore their Jewish values, create a connection to the land of Israel and take action in what is going on in the world around them through tikkun olam.
TALIT Nation weekends are a highlight for so many teens in our community, but how do we get the youth of this community to these transformative weekend experiences? The answer can be found in opportunities like our 8th Grade Taste of TALIT experience April 20 to 22 at Camp Alonim.  Each year the Bureau invites 8th graders from all over Orange County and Long Beach to come and see what it is like to be part of the TALIT Nation program.  Eighth graders have the opportunity to participate with the 9th to 12th grade community in a Shabbat celebration and other large scale community activities during the weekend.  The 8th graders also participate in bonding activities, deep Jewish identity building programs and many camp style activities like hiking and sports.
Taste of TALIT is a window for our 8th graders so that they can peer into the future of their Jewish teen experience.  Simply informing our youth through advertising isn’t going to get them to the retreats.  They need to be able to come and see for themselves the impact of a TALIT Nation weekend.  The opportunity is there for them April 20 to 22, and they do not want to miss the chance to experience all the wonderful Jewish moments that TALIT Nation creates for them. Our growth as Jews does not stop the moment we step off the bimah as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.  In fact, we have only just begun to grow at that time.  TALIT Nation gives you your water and sunlight with each passing retreat, so that you continue to grow your Judaism well into the future.
For more information contact Eric Nicastro at (949) 435-3450 or eric@bjeoc.org.

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