Welcome home! Many of the teens in our community are returning from amazing and transformative summer adventures at Jewish overnight camps and summer programs, in Israel, doing acts of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and many others. We hope you all had incredible experiences, and are excited to hear about them in the coming weeks as we reconnect and prepare for the new year.

One of the amazing parts of going away for the summer is the ability to block out some of the noise and immerse in the joy and community that surrounds us. And yet, reentry can be somewhat jarring when we readjust to the constant stream of notifications on our phones and read the headlines of what is happening in the world around us.

This past week we are once again reminded of how broken our world is, with racist and hateful events in Charlottesville and here at home in Boston raising important questions of how we can help repair our fractured world, raise our voices, support and love our neighbors and make a difference. We join our community partners at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) in condemning these acts of racism, hate and anti-Semitism, and in taking action to address it.

Here are some resources to help navigate these challenging times:

The Jewish Teen Initiative is extremely proud of the important work that teens in our communities do throughout the year to help make our world a better place. From local service programs to national opportunities to our signature Peer Leader Fellowship, JTI teens are making a difference. We hope you’ll join us this year, both at home and in the broader community, as we continue to connect our community, speak up for change and action, and help spread love and support to those who need more of it.

So…it’s time to get back to work.

  • Educate yourself on what is happening in our communities.
  • Attending a rally or event with JTI friends? Let us know and send us a photo of you taking action so we can post on our social media channels.
  • Looking for additional ways to turn your passions into action? Mark your calendars to join JTI at one of our many opportunities to help make the world a little bit better and contact our office—we’d love to help.

As our tradition teaches us, “tzedek, tzedek tirdof – justice, justice you shall pursue.” We look forward to working together in the coming year.

Cross posted at JewishTeenInitiative.org.

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