There are hundreds of activities for Jewish teens to take part in all around L.A., year round. From summer camps and volunteering to Jewish education and social justice, these activities are perfect for Jewish teens looking to connect with Jews just like them.
Youth Groups: Looking to connect with other teens in your area? Well, Jewish youth groups are the perfect place to find a Jewish community, mixing charity, fun activities, and Jewish culture. Groups like USY (United Synagogue Youth), BBYO (B’nai Brith Youth Organization), NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth), and Young Judea (Zionist Activism), host events like Teen Tuesday, retreats at local summer camps, conferences focusing on Jewish politics, trips to Disneyland, Torah talks, Jewish movie nights, hikes, and trips to Israel all year round. Join one today and connect with Jewish teens around the world!
Summer Camp: All over the valley, Jewish summer camps (day and sleepaway) are looking for campers, counselors, volunteers, and specialists to create a caring community of teenagers who want to be immersed in Jewish culture. Not only do these camps have typical activities like swimming, horseback riding, rock climbing, and arts and crafts, but they also infuse the atmosphere with Jewish culture in Israeli dance, Jewish music, Shabbat celebrations, Hebrew language, and Judaic studies. For campers and counselors of all ages, summer camps such as Alonim, Ramah, Hess Kramer, JCA Shalom, and VBS are taking sign-ups and applications now!
Volunteering: Organizations like SOVA, a food pantry standing for sustenance, opportunity, volunteerism, and advocacy, National Council of Jewish Women, working to raise awareness for women and family issues such as domestic violence and reproductive health, and Sherut L’Olam, providing a space for teens to explore social and environmental issues, are always looking for volunteers to help their cause. Through volunteering within the Jewish community, you can both support local causes is always important and connect the Jewish community to a charity you are passionate about. Other organizations include the Los Angeles Jewish Home, Jewish United Fund, and the Jewish Agency for Israel, and Home Shalom
Birthright: Birthright Israel is a 10-day program which provides a free 10-day trip to Israel for young Jewish adults ages 18-26 who have never been to Israel. They have provided over 48,000 trips and have been connecting Jews to their heritage for 18 years, according to the Birthright Israel Foundation. Though you might not be eligible for Birthright yet, planning a gap year or a summer trip through Birthright is the perfect way to get a taste of Israel and meet Jews from around the globe. Oh, and, according to their website, the trip has seen 15,545 sunrises at Masada, eaten 2.7 million falafel balls, and allowed over 600,000 teens to see the beauty of Israel.
Bonus Activities: These activities can help any Jewish teen get involved in education, community service, social justice, and more.
- Los Angeles Hebrew High School: Get language credit through learning Hebrew and Judaic Studies, connecting with Jews around L.A. LAHHS is open to grades 7-12.
- Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative: Participate in a paid internship at the Jewish Federation to support Jewish nonprofit organizations throughout LA and gain work experience.
- Keshet: Keshet (meaning rainbow in Hebrew) is a national organization that works with LGBTQ teens to fight for equality and inclusion in the Jewish community.