Teenage Rebellion

Toby Klein

by Toby Klein for JUF News

"So who exactly is going to take you seriously," a neighbor laughs. "Don't underestimate us," I warned. "You'll soon see we're more than Jewish summer camp rejects..." Read More »

Making Mitzvot part of your Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah Guide

See TOV's Guide to Making Mitzvot Part of Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Israel Experience

Israel Experience

Redeem your Jewish Federation Israel Experience Funds 
(including SKIP, Gift of Israel, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Certificates and Walk with Israel Vouchers)

Community Programs: Local and National

Teens painting star


Chi-Town Connection

Chi Town Connection is the JCC's year round program for high school aged teens and 8th graders. Chi Town Connection is run by the Camp Chi staff and a teen advisory board made up of 25 males and females ranging in age from 14-16. While Chi Town Connection is run by Camp Chi, you do not have to be a Camp Chi Camper to get involved. Throughout the year CTC offers teens the chance to get involved in exciting programs, excellent leadership opportunities, and important community service projects. 

Camp Chi Teen Program Coordinator
Phone: 847-763-3613

JCRC/Hillel Israel Initiative

The Initiative helps Illinois high school students build skills to become Israel activists when they move onto college. With special conferences and lectures geared specifically for teenagers, the Initiative is helping prepare tomorrow's campus elite with the writing, speaking and critical thinking skills they need to succeed. 

Additionally, through our partnerships with Club Israel, a student club bringing Israel advocacy programs to the public high schools, and with JCC Camp CHI, and Camp Ramah, the Initiative continues to expand our work in Israel education and advocacy with high school students. 

Emily Briskman
30 S. Wells 5th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312-357-4931
Email: or

Rosh Chodesh: It's a Girl Thing

Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing! uses Judaism to enrich the lives of girls in grades 6-12, from all denominations. It draws on Jewish tradition to give girls a place to feel safe, articulate their questions and concerns, have fun, and be 'real' with their peers. Small groups of girls meet monthly with a carefully trained adult leader. Through discussion, arts & crafts, and drama, the girls integrate core Jewish values as they focus on the things they care about most, such as body image, friendship, relationships, competition, stress, and family.

Leslie Weiss
Community Foundation for Jewish Education
4709 Golf Rd., Suite 400
Skokie, IL 60076
Phone: 847-410-
Fax: 847-410-3910                

Jewish Student Connection (JSC)

Jewish Student Connection exists to help high school students explore what [Jewish] means to them, inspiring proud personal connections with our culture, with our People, with Israel - with each other.  We do this through fun, innovative programs that are run in school-sponsored clubs, open to all students. For more information, or to see where our clubs are, please visit our website at

         Andi Gutnik
         Area Director
         1945 Techny Rd., #5
         Northbrook, IL 60062
         Phone:  847-675-7331      


 JSU Chicago

Jewish Student Union helps students at public high schools create and run Jewish culture clubs after school. JSU clubs offer free pizza, innovative informal Jewish educational programming, and a sense of community for teens in Chicago's public school system. In addition, we present teens with information on a wide-array of programming in the Jewish community that is available to them.

Rabbi Donny Schwartz, Director
3200 W. Touhy Ave. 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60645
Phone: 847-677-6279

Or Tzedek: A Teen Institute for Social Justice

Or Tzedek is Jewish Council on Urban Affairs's year-round teen institute for social justice. Through hands-on service, teen-led social action projects and education about Jewish values and social justice, teens learn about challenges facing Chicago's diverse communities and take action to combat them.

Rebecca Katz
Manager of Teen Programs
Or Tzedek
610 S. Michigan Ave., 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605


Serving Jewish kids with special needs providing social, recreational, and educational programming. Age groups: Junior Yachad (8-15) and Senior Yachad (15-25).

Efrem Popel
3200 W. Touhy Ave. 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60645
Phone: 847-677-6279
Fax: 847-675-0745
Email: or

Shorashim Club Israel

Initiative to bring Israel into the lives of contemporary Chicago youth. Club Israel promotes Israeli educational and cultural programming within the high school. Events include speakers, concerts, Israeli films, and conferences. 

Sharna Marcus         
Director of Education
1440 N. Dayton #301
Chicago, IL 60642
Phone: 312-267-0677
Fax: 773-442-0494 

JET: Jewish Education Team

JET empowers and inspires Jewish college students and young professionals to develop a stronger connection to our Jewish heritage, the Jewish people and the land of Israel through amazingly fun, authentic and innovative educational, social and travel programs.

WiFi Building
8170 N. McCormick Blvd., Suite 221
Skokie, IL 60076
Phone: (773) 817-4406             
Website: http://
Contact: Rabbi Zev Kahn, Director and Founder


Panim el Panim

On PANIM's flagship four-day seminars in Washington, D.C., Jewish teens from around the country explore public policy and social activism through a Jewish lens. Participants meet with members of Congress and their staffs, hear from policy experts, enjoy Washington's historic tourist sites and return home knowing that they have the power to make an impact.

Rachel Meytin
6101 Montrose Road, Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: 301-770-5070
Fax: 301-770-6365

More Panim Programs and Panim Scholarships