JTE, Jewish Teen Education, is a year-old program in the Greater New Haven area created by teens for teens. JTE has completed two very successful semesters with great feedback from participating students. In the Fall of 2018, JTE will offer a range of classes, ranging from cooking and yoga to Israeli politics and comparative religions, for students entering grades 8 to 12.
In a recent interview with SNH editorial staff, JTE President Samantha Fleischman shares students’ impressions about the program’s first two semesters:
What did some of the teens have to say about the program, from your informal conversations throughout the past year?
I talked to multiple students who were reluctant to join, but were pleasantly surprised by their experience. Everyone really loved their classes and teachers. We had some unique subjects like Comparative Religions, Controversy Debate and Understanding, Scandals of the Torah, JTE Yoga, The Big Questions, Jewish Images in Media, and Make a Difference. Gender Equality has definitely been my personal favorite. The teacher, Sharon Rosenblatt, has made the class really fun and interesting for all of the teens. I also really enjoyed the cooking class. We were able to make a mix of Jewish and Israeli foods and just typical American foods like cupcakes and muffins.
Why teens are coming back for a third semester?
I think people are coming back for a third semester because they enjoyed the classes and saw the program as a great way to hang out with friends and meet new people.
What’s your favorite aspect of JTE?
The fact that there is really something for everyone. It gave people from the entire community the opportunity to meet others and take classes that interested them. Unlike in school or Hebrew school, there are no obligations, you just take what you want to and think sounds interesting. I also love the sense of community that we are starting to build in the program.
Information regarding JTE’s fall registration, courses and schedule will be available soon on the Jewish Federation’s website www.jewishnewhaven.org. To learn more about the program, contact President Samantha Fleischman and Vice President Maya Barbieri at JTE@jewishnewhaven.org with any questions or look for JTE- Jewish Teen Education on Facebook.