There are many ways for your pre-teen, teen, or college student to get involved in their Jewish community. From youth groups to social action causes, participation in the Tidewater Jewish community will offer your children opportunities to meet new friends, learn more about their culture and heritage, and explore their Jewish identity:

BBYO - B’nai B’rith Youth Organization
Grades: 9th – 12th
The B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) is the largest Jewish teen organization in the Tidewater area.  Teens meet weekly at the JCC to program within the folds of BBYO.  Activities involve community service, socials, athletics, social action and Judaic. BBYO also has several conventions a year as well as summer leadership programs and trips to Israel.  Being a part of this organization not only allows your teen to be with other Jewish teens, but guides your teen into leadership positions for the future. BBYO is open to all Jewish 9th – 12th graders.
Contact: Ellie Bernstein, BBYO City Director and Director of JCC Teen Programming
Phone: 757-321-2324   |   Fax: 757-489-4427   |   Email   |   Website

BBYO Connect
Grades: 6th – 8th
Middle Schoolers will join other Jewish teens to make a difference in the world while having a great time. Teens will help plan exciting, fun activities that will touch the lives of others while impacting their own lives Jewishly. They will experience programming at the Simon Family JCC designed exclusively for and by them, such as social and recreational activities, Judaic and Israeli awareness and community service. BBYO Connect is open to all Jewish 6th – 8th graders
Contact: Ellie Bernstein, BBYO City Director and Director of JCC Teen Programming
Phone: 757-321-2324   |   Fax: 757-489-4427   |   Email   |   Website

National Conference of Synagogue Youth
Denomination: Orthodox (B'nai Israel Congregation)
NCSY is the premier organization dedicated to connect, inspire and empower Jewish teens and encourage passionate Judaism through Torah and Tradition.
Phone: (757) 627-7358
Website: http://www.ncsy.org/

NFTY - North American Federation of Temple Youth
Denomination: Reform
Synagogues: Congregation Beth Chaverim and Ohef Sholom Temple
Stemming from a historic tradition of both Jewish and non-Jewish European youth movements, NFTY is the Reform Jewish religious youth movement that fosters leadership at the national, regional and congregational level. Whether functioning as an organization, program, or youth movement, NFTY is a Reform Jewish community for high school students. NFTYites forge and build friendships, lifelong Reform Jewish identities, and leadership skills through community building, worship, social action, and experiential youth-led Jewish educational programming.
BeaChY – Beth Chaverim Youth Group
Grades: 8th – 9th
Contact: Robin Herbol   |   Phone: (757) 368-4700   |   Email

OSTY - Ohef Sholom Temple Youth
Grades: 7th – 8th
Contact: Amy and Eliot Weinstein   |   Email

USY - United Synagogue Youth
Denomination: Conservative
Synagogues: Congregation Beth El, Kempsville Conservative Synagogue, Temple Emanuel, and Temple Israel
United Synagogue Youth (USY) is the youth movement of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. USY operates in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Uganda. The goal of the movement is to bring Jewish teenagers closer to Judaism and Israel through learning and social interaction.

Locally, USY is divided into three age groups across four conservative synagogues:
USY (Grades: 9th – 12th)
Kadima (Grades: 6th – 8th)
Machar (Grades: 4th – 5th)

Congregation Beth El: (757) 625-7821   |   Email
Kempsville Conservative Synagogue: (757) 495-8510   |   Email
Temple Emanuel: (757) 428-2591   |   Email
Temple Israel: (757) 489-4550   |   Email


Hillel at Old Dominion University
Hillel at Old Dominion University is a student organization created to welcome Jewish college students in intellectual, spiritual and social growth by helping them to find a balance in being distinctively Jewish and universally human by encouraging them to pursue tzedek (social justice), tikkun olam (repairing the world) and Jewish learning, and to support Israel and the global Jewish peoplehood. ODU Hillel provides an opportunity for Jewish students, of all denominations, to come together for Jewish holidays and Shabbat, community work and fun. Open to Jewish Undergraduates and Graduates at Old Dominion University, ODU Hillel is also inclusive to non-Jewish students, who have a desire to learn more and be part of a Jewish student union.
Contact: Ellie Bernstein, Hillel Director
Phone: 757-321-2324   |   Email   |   Website   |   Facebook


Maccabi ArtsFest – Team Tidewater!
Grades: rising 8th – 12th
Do you have a passion for acting or improv, creative writing, dance, digital media art, Jazz/world music ensemble, musical theater, photojournalism, rock/pop bands, visual art, or vocal music? Then Maccabi ArtsFest is for you! This is a collaborative experience with Jewish youth and specialized artists, masters from around the world. Some of the activities include: arts workshops, teen-led community service, evening activities, talent showcase and Rock n’ Roll parties. Maccabi ArtsFest is open to all Jewish rising 8th – 12th graders. Learn more: www.jccmaccabiartsfest.org
Contact: Ellie Bernstein, Director of JCC Teen Programming
Phone: 757-321-2324   |   Fax: 757-489-4427   |   Email   |   Website

Maccabi Games – Team Tidewater!
Ages: 13 – 17 years old
The JCC Maccabi Games is an Olympic-style sporting competition held each summer in North America and is one of the largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers across the globe! These athletic competitions help provide Jewish youths with a supportive environment that fosters mutual respect and sportsmanship, where they can interact in an atmosphere of fun, democracy, and peace. Not only will the teens be engaged in competitions of their choice, but they will also be exposed to the life and culture of the hosting city while cultivating a deeper understanding and an appreciation of Jewish values and identity. JCC Maccabi Games are open to all Jewish teens ages 13-17. Learn more: www.jccmaccabigames.org
Contact: Ellie Bernstein, Director of JCC Teen Programming
Phone: 757-321-2324   |   Fax: 757-489-4427   |   Email   |   Website


Camp Gan Israel at Chabad of Tidewater
Grades: pre-K through 6th grade
Gan Israel is much more than a physical break from the school routine and winter activities. It’s a comprehensive program designed to strengthen the body and soul. It provides your child with a rich and wholesome summer vacation of fun and excitement along with friendship and meaningful educational experiences. Through culinary arts, stories, songs, crafts, field trips, gymnastics, discussions, and more, the Gan Izzy camper is imbued with a deep sense of pride in their Jewish heritage and a love for the land of Israel.
Address: 1920 Colley Ave., Norfolk, VA 23517
Contact: Rashi Brashevitsky
Phone: (757) 616-0770   |   Fax: (757) 616-0772   |  Email   |   Website

Camp JCC at the Simon Family JCC
Ages: 16 months through age 13+
Camp JCC provides children with a rich and unique day camp experience.  A dynamic program allows every child to explore their own interests and try new activities within a safe camp atmosphere. Our engaging and supportive staff encourages campers to have fun, develop skills, and form meaningful relationships.  All staff members are hired for their ability to facilitate memorable experiences for our campers.  All camp personnel have a background check and participate in an extensive orientation program.
Address: 5000 Corporate Woods Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Contact: Jill Sava, Director of Camp JCC and JCC Children & Family Programming
Phone: (757) 321-2338   |   Fax: (757) 489-4427   |  Email   |   Website

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