midwest ncsy chanukah 2012 ignite

Midwest NCSY Chanukah 2012 Ignite
Midwest NCSY Chanukah 2012 Ignite
Midwest NCSY Chanukah 2012 Ignite
Midwest NCSY Chanukah 2012 Ignite
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Check out all the local news from the Midwest Region of NCSY!


  • Jewish Student Union public school clubs that meet each week around the region, facilitated by Midwest NCSY


    The Jewish Family Experience (JFE) is a brand new initiative hitting the Chicago area this year, and it is already having a profound impact on the lives of Jewish kids and their families. JFE is a dynamic, family-based learning program dedicated to educating and inspiring Jews across Chicagos northern suburbs regardless of their affiliation or background. The Jewish Family Experience offers classes for children in grades 2-8 on Sundays from 9:30am -12:30pm at the Jewett Park Community Center. There are also weekly presentations and forums allowing parents to discuss a variety of Jewish topics. The program is a joint effort of Midwest NCSY and the Chicago Torah Network (CTN) with support from the Associated Talmud Torahs of Chicago.

    The Jewish Family Experience nurtures the whole family by providing genuine adult learning experiences coupled with dynamic Hebrew School programming in a safe and welcoming atmosphere that encourages exploration. The classes, taught by engaging and talented teachers, combine hands-on experiential learning with an innovative curriculum to create a positive Jewish experience. The parents attend weekly discussions led by the Rabbis of CTN, and our Bnai Mitzvah track is dedicated to making each

    childs Bar or Bat Mitzvah a meaningful, memorable, and, of course, fun experience.

    Tuition for the year is only $475 and parents can receive a $50 credit for referring a friend to the program. For more information contact Rabbi Yehuda Polstein at (773) 706-6020 or yehuda@jewishfamilyexp.org.

    Evan Hessel from Vernon Hills, Illinois, learning about Shabbat in his JFE classes.

    Dr. Jay and Margie RobinowDr. Jay and Margie Robinow have been involved with NCSY for nearly two decades. Frequently opening their Overland Park, Kansas home to host NCSYers and NCSY programs, Jay and Margie con-sistently contribute to NCSY with their time, effort and financial resources.

    How did you first get involved in NCSY and why do you continue to support it?

    We have a vision for the development of the Kansas Jewish Community and NCSY is an integral part of it. Kansas is a wonderful place to live and a won-derful place to live Jewishly. We became involved in NCSY when our kids were little so they would have an exciting group of Jewish friends. Teens are

    Jewish Family Experience

    Continued on next page...






    Dear Friends and Family,

    Its a pleasure to share with

    you some of

    the extraordinary things tha

    t are going

    on in Midwest NCSY. While i

    t has only

    been a few months since the

    new school

    year, we have already met m

    ore than 300

    new NCSYers! Take a look in

    side and learn

    about some of our exciting ne

    w initiatives.

    Wishing you and your family

    a happy

    Chanukah! Rabbi Micha Greenland

    E D I T I O N

    Participants at our Senior NCSY Fall Convention held in Minneapolis

    Midwest NCSY program attendees who come from public school

    Programs that take place every week in Midwest NCSY

  • the key to the future. We support NCSY because it is a successful program to help our teens be Jewish, stay Jewish and grow into Jewish leaders.

    What do you wish other people knew about NCSYs teen outreach?

    We wish that all Jewish people knew that NCSY helps teens be happy, successful, respectful and thriving young individuals.We have seen this to be true for kids across the spectrum of Jewish affiliations and backgrounds. NCSY can awaken a desire in a teen with minimal background to ex-plore and grow in their Judaism, as well as provide a spark and inspiration for the kids that already have a stronger Jewish connection.

    ... Donor Spotlight continued

    Teenagers dream big. They dream about what they will do after they graduate high school and about where they will live after they are done with college.

    Julia Gartsman and Moran Greenberg are 12th graders at Vernon Hills High School. They have been active in NCSY throughout their four years of high school and their dream was to go to Israel for the summer. They wanted an experience that would help them feel more attached to their heritage, but also be a lot of fun. Moran has already been to Israel but she never expected me to come with her, said Julia.

    Of course, spending a summer in Israel is an expensive proposition. For Julia and Moran, a summer trip to Israel was indeed a big dream. But through their JSU (Jewish Student Union) club and the International NCSY office, Julia and Moran were able to spend 5 weeks in the most incredible place on earth.

    The Jerusalem Journey, known among hundreds of public school teens as simply TJJ, is a month-long program where teens are able to travel from the Golan Heights to the shores of Eilat and everywhere in between. TJJers swim in the Kineret, visit archaeological digs, participate in incredible hikes, experience a magical Shabbat in Tzfat, visit the Kotel (Western Wall) and float in the Dead Sea. With incredible NCSY advisors leading the way, Julia and Moran were able to see history come alive while learning about their Jewish heritage.

    Truly there is no better place for a teen to get inspired than in Israel, and no better way to see and experience all that Israel has to offer than TJJ, said Midwest NCSY Regional Director and CEO Rabbi Micah Greenland. We are so proud of Julia, Moran and all the Midwest teens who filled up an entire bus this summer on TJJ.

    This was our dream, and we did not think it would happen, said Moran. Now that we have experienced TJJ we really feel like we have grown as members of the Jewish people.

    Julia and Moran have been busy since they got back. They feel more connected to Judaism and to the land of Israel. As active members of their JSU clubs, they have spoken to many teens about the advantages of going on NCSYs amazing summer programs.

    Just do something, said Julia. Now is the time to really figure out who you are, so dream big and dont stop until the dream becomes a reality.


    NCSY can awaken a desire in a teen with minimal background to explore and grow in their Judaism as well as provide a spark and inspiration for the kids that already have a stronger Jewish connection.

    Dream big and dont stop until the dream becomes a reality.

    How has your NCSY involvement benefited your own family?

    Our five kids have developed their connection to Judaism, their closeness with Jewish peers and their Jewish identity through NCSY. The oppor-tunities to develop leadership skills have served them well as they move into the next stages of their lives. Personally, even we as adults are grateful for the opportunity to get to know many wonderful advisors and kids from all over the United States.

    Dr. Jay and Margie Robinow with their family.

  • MIDWEST NCSY INVESTS IN OUR STAFFProfessional development and staff training are emphasized throughout the year in Midwest NCSY, the best example of which was a Staff Enrichment Shabbaton held in Skokie this past October. Encompassing over 45 volunteer advisors and over 15 professional staff from across the country, the Shabbaton included training sessions for new and returning staff, team building exercises, and opportunities for the staff to be further strengthened as they embarked on a new year of working with teens. With a freshly inspired team, the weekend prepared NCSY staff for a phenomenal year of growth and inspiration for Jewish teens.

    FIRESIDE MELAVA MALKAS IN INDIANAPOLISThroughout the early ending Shabbatot of the winter months, NCSYers gather together on Saturday nights for fireside Melava Malkas at the Zitin home with smores, boardgames, and Torah learning. NCSYers get a taste of the great indoors with a roaring fire (in the fireplace). Teens come for the food, fun and friends but always leave with more Torah than they came with. Learning topics vary but include everything from upcoming holidays, Parshat HaShavua, and even Gemara with some students.

    MEMPHIS STARTS OFF STRONG Memphis NCSY started off the year with a kickoff BBQ, Latte & Learning and a large oneg. The fun continued when 23 Memphis NCSYers came together at Paintball Park for a three-hour extravaganza on three different paintball courses. Thirty kids from Memphis are attending Fall Regional in Minneapolis.

    MONDAYS AT MIZRAHI A HIT IN NORTH SHORE Every Monday, as part of joint program with the ATT, public school teens from Midwest NCSYs North Shore chapter meet at Mizrahi Grill in Highland Park. The free Dinner n Learning program provides shwarma with a fantasticcamaraderie for Jewish teens on the North Shore. The teens jump-start their week by participating in a discussion related to Judaism.

    MIDWEST REGIONAL SHABBATON UPLIFTS MINNEAPOLIS COMMUNITYHeld on the campus of the beautiful new Yeshiva of Minneapolis, nearly 300 NCSYers joined together for a weekend full of fun and inspiration. Community members participated in various parts of the program and left extremely impressed by the energy, excitement and spirituality that filled the air.TORAH HIGH MINNEAPOLIS MEETS ALEPH BETA ACADEMYMinneapolis NCSY began its second year of Torah High with a twist. Incorporating the Aleph Beta Academy online courses into the program, students watched short videos in class that acted as springboards for deep and meaningful discussions. Participants then took advantage of the educational material at home by accessing theironline Aleph Beta profile.Students earnhigh school credits while enjoying fun and informative lessons.