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Teen Scene

A new season of programming

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As the new season kicks off, there are plenty of opportunities for teens to participate in the local Jewish community.  

In an effort to build a Jewish teen community across the Valley, Jewish News and The League present Teen Scene, featuring monthly content devoted to teen programming. Here is a recap of recent events and a roundup of events to come.  

BBYO

In Scottsdale, BBYO chapters will meet at 7 p.m. Mondays at the VOSJCC. Email mtn@bbyo.org.

In the East Valley, BBYO chapters meet at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the East Valley JCC, 908 N. Alma School Road, Chandler. Contact: Aaron Wiener, East Valley supervisor, awiener@bbyo.org.

The Friendship Circle

The Friendship Circle pairs teens with children with special needs for shared social experiences. Future events include  a STEM program 1-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11; a Mega Challah Bake for children on Sept. 18; and a Rosh Hashanah activity at Pinspiration for teens with special needs on Sept. 25. Visit fcaz.org.

Hebrew High

The Bureau of Jewish Education’s Hebrew High presents Teen ACT, a service-learning experience that encourages teens to ACT (Action, Connect, Think). Upcoming programs are preparing sack lunches for the homeless in downtown Phoenix on Sunday, Sept. 25, and volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul’s dining room on Sunday, Oct. 16. Visit bjephoenix.org.

Israeli Scouts of Arizona

More than 70 children attended the Aug. 28 opening event of Shevet Shemesh, the Arizona chapter of the Israeli Scouts. More than 20 teen volunteers serve as leaders. The group holds activities on Sundays. Visit shevetshemesh.com.

Jewish Student Union

Jewish Student Union (JSU) will hold an information session at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at a private home. Parents and teens are invited to learn about JSU programs and high school clubs, as well as JSU’s Israel trip, The Jerusalem Journey (TJJ). (Visit tjj.ncsy.org to learn more.) A light lunch will be served and a discount for the trip will be offered for those who attend this session.

JSU kicked off its season on Aug. 27 with an evening of laser tag, a ropes course, arcade games and bowling at Main Event Entertainment in Tempe.

Call (201) 362-2074 or email shmuli@dojsu.org.

The League

Basketball games for the second season of the Jewish Youth Group Sports League – known as “The League” – will resume on Sept. 18. The League is facilitated by the Valley of the Sun JCC for members of Jewish youth groups (BBYO, NCSY, NFTY and USY) and games are held 5-7 p.m. Sundays at the VOSJCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. All teens are welcome to come watch the games.

The League is funded, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix.

Contact Alexa Wollach, alexaw@vosjcc.org or 480-483-7121.

NFTY

NFTY Phoenix will present “Blackjack for a Cause” 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at Temple Kol Ami, 15030 N. 64th St., Scottsdale. Proceeds will go to the charity of the winner’s choice. Cost is $20, which includes pizza and snacks. To register, visit southwest.nfty.org.

BITY, Congregation Beth Israel’s youth group, held a pool party for its first event of the year and TSTY, Temple Solel’s youth group, got together with students in the synagogue’s Teen Tracks program to play games such as “steal the noodle” and “Mafia” at their Aug. 21 kickoff event.

Temple Chai’s youth group, TCTY, had over 50 teens at its kickoff event, which was an evening of fun competitions. Additionally, 15 TCTY leaders attended a NFTY–SW leadership training institute in El Paso, Texas, to build leadership skills and train for the upcoming year. TCTY will have a lunch and scavenger hunt on Sept. 18.

TSTY, Temple Solel's youth group, will have a pool party 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at a private home. The theme is "Down and Dirty." Email Lauren, lkaiser@templesolel.org by Sept. 12 for reservations.

USY

Beth El USY will host a youth group kickoff pool party 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at a private home. All youth group members and prospective members, in grades 4-12, are invited to attend. The event includes pizza, snacks and swimming. Cost is $5. To attend, contact Nanci, 602-944-3359, ext. 123, or nsiegelmanson@bethelphoenix.com.

The group will hold its Cafe Kehilla – offering breakfast 8:30-9:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 18 at Beth El – and a junior congregation Shabbat service 10:30-11:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.  

Temple Beth Sholom of the East Valley USY will attend a screening of the movie “Embrace,” a documentary about female body image, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. Email sarah.bochenek@tbsev.org.

A call for middle schoolers

This month, NFTY Southwest is launching its second year of Better Together Phoenix, an intergenerational experience for Jewish middle school students. The program brings together students in grades 6-8 with local seniors to learn, celebrate and build relationships. Students work throughout the year with a videographer to create a professional level movie documenting their experience.

Classes meet monthly starting Sept. 11. Email bettertogetherphoenix@urj.org, visit bit.ly/bettertogethernftysw or call (212) 452-6754.

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