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Teen Programs at AJL: Engaging Jewish Teens in Jewish Learning and Jewish Life

Carolyn Gerecht

The Agency for Jewish Learning provides educational opportunities for teens (8th-12th grade), and also supports local synagogues and Jewish institutions in their own teen programming. Additionally, the AJL brings together Jewish youth professionals and teen youth leaders through the Youth Professionals Network.

Our programs

NEW! Partners in Teen Education
With J-SITE, You Can Build Your Own Experience

We believe in learning Judaism, and experiencing Judaism. This year at J-SITE, teens will have an opportunity to not only take Hebrew and Judaics classes on Sundays and Wednesdays, but also to participate in a variety of community-wide programming specifically designed for teens. These classes and programs are offered by partner organizations all over the city, and run throughout the week. | View the flier

Repair the WorldTeens met at the brand-new Repair the World workshop for 9 weeks, to volunteer alongside Repair the World and to learn about social issues facing Pittsburgh and other urban communities in the United States. Service and learning opportunities followed three units: Power and Privilege; Education; and Food Sustainability. Two weeks of each unit were spent volunteering with relevant organizations in the community, including East End Cooperative Ministry and Higher Achievement, and the third week was spent learning at the workshop, for a total of 9 life-changing weeks. Dinner was provided. Stay tuned for more teen programming with Repair the World! Coming soon!


View the Pittsburgh chapter’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RepairTheWorldPittsburgh  |  Less

  • Take a Class on the Superheroes of the Holocaust with the Holocaust Center | View the flier  | More


Beginning March 2! Use the interactive ChutzPow comic book curriculum to learn about superheroes of the Holocaust, including survivors in our own community. View the brochure for full program info


The Holocaust Center of PittsburghProfessional Holocaust Center educators will teach the story of Jewish involvement in the comic book industry during the Holocaust era (including the creation of Superman and Captain America!), using the interactive and artistic ChutzPow curriculum, and share stories of real-life superheroes of the Holocaust, including the stories of five Holocaust survivors from Pittsburgh.


Contact Joy Braunstein, Director, for more information at jbraunstein@jfedpgh.org or 412-421-1500, or view The Holocaust Center website: http://holocaustcenterpgh.org/  | Less

  • Enroll in the South Hills Community High School Experience; 8th, 9th, 10th graders  | More

Join Temple Emanuel, Beth El Congregation and the South Hills JCC for weekly programming and classes for teens on Monday nights at Temple Emanuel in the South Hills. Teens will have the opportunity to take classes that focus on Jewish identity, developing a personal connection to Jewish life, everyday Jewish values, and much more, all with their friends in the South Hills.


Monday evenings. At Temple Emanuel and Beth El Congregation in the South Hills. See the flier for details.


8th Grade Monday Joint Program Begins Sept. 2014;

9th and 10th Grade Monday Joint Program Begins Jan. 2015


Contact Rabbi Jessica Locketz for more information at jlocketz@templeemanuelpgh.org or 412-279-7600.  | Less

  • Receive a Certificate in Elementary Jewish Education  | More

Certificate in Elementary Jewish Education

This new certificate program provides any teens who might be interested in becoming Religious School teachers, preschool teachers, camp counselors, or educators with the opportunity to study the most innovative techniques in Jewish education, with master teacher Barak Naveh. Teens will take a Certificate in Elementary Jewish Education with them to college and may also receive a reference from our program. Teens will learn about classroom management, lesson planning, multiple intelligences, teaching Jewish content meaningfully and creatively, and more; teens will also student-teach two hours per week in a religious school classroom. Lunch provided each week.


Sundays at Rodef Shalom. See the flier for details.


This exciting program will take the place of I.M. Wise this year. Questions? Please contact Carolyn Gerecht ( ), (412) 521-1101 x3204.



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Photos from Repair the World, Fall 2014


Going to Israel? You’ll Want to Learn Some Hebrew First!

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What Do the Cookie Monster, Barack Obama and Borat have in common?

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For any questions about upcoming Jewish learning programs for your 8th-12th grade teen, please contact Director of Teen Learning Carolyn Gerecht ( ), (412) 521-1101 x3204.

The AJL is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Adherence to the Jewish faith is a requirement for some of our programs.