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Temple Israel's Youth Groups

Early Childhood

An Early Childhood Committee of volunteers helps plan the monthly Tot Shabbat and Friday evening Family Services and also seeks to engage the littlest members of the community, along with older siblings, parents and grandparents, in special programming, open, free of charge, to Temple Israel members and non-members alike. For instance, there’s our lively December Hanukkah party, when everyone is welcome for tot-appropriate musical entertainment, games and jelly doughnuts, of course! At Temple Israel, it’s never too early to feel good about being Jewish and begin to make Jewish memories that will last a lifetime. 


Informal Jewish education—social and cultural programming outside of a formal classroom setting—has proven to be an effective way to build Jewish identity; instill Jewish values, such as Tikkun Olam; and nurture connections to Jewish community for a lifetime. Plus, it’s wholesome, no-pressure fun! 

At Temple Israel, we offer a robust program for young people through three organized youth groups, divided according to age and grade level. All three are affiliated with the Conservative movement, and therefore, are also able to take advantage of regional and national activities.

Temple Israel’s youth groups are open to all Jewish youth in the community and are not exclusive to children of Temple member families. For information about how to join, click on the appropriate link below for your age group. Or you may telephone the Temple office—201-444-9320—or email office@synagogue.org and ask to be put in contact with the Youth Committee chair. 

El Al: 4th-5th-Grades

Link to Calendar/Registration Form

Our introductory level youth group participates in low-key social, recreational, and community service activities, planned monthly. Among these are: feeding the homeless, cleaning our own neighborhood’s Ho-Ho-Kus Brook, outings for ice skating in the winter; holiday parties for Hanukkah and a Chocolate Seder for Passover. Traditionally, there’s also an annual Shabbaton, overnight, at the synagogue.

Kadima: 6th-8th-Grades

Link to Calendar/Registration Form

We take it up a notch for our middle-schoolers, who enjoy regional events to supplement the bi-monthly local programming. Kadima members get together in our on-site youth lounge to hang out, play foosball, watch movies, do homework and schmooze, under the supervision of Temple Israel’s Youth Director, a hired professional. They also plan active age-appropriate outings, like Laser Tag; ballgames; and apple picking; participate in mitzvah projects, like cooking in the Temple’s feeding program for the homeless; and have seasonal parties and an annual “Lock-in Shabbaton.”

United Synagogue Youth (USY): 9th-12th-Grades

Link to Calendar/Registration Form

Our USY chapter is peer-led, with its own board that plans a full schedule of activities, under the guidance of the USY director. There is a dual social-social action focus. In addition to monthly Lounge Nights, geared simply to hanging out, doing homework and “kibitzing,” the chapter runs fun events, such as “Mall Crawl,” Cosmic Bowling; Iron Chef, and Casino Night, a fundraiser. Community service projects have included helping out at the congregation’s Purim Carnival and lending an extra hand at El Al and Kadima events, when needed. With their more sophisticated ritual skills, USY-ers are key players in Youth Shabbat, a yearly highlight on the Temple’s Ritual calendar.

Our teens also participate in activities of the New Jersey HaGalil Region, and a number have become active on the USY national level, as well.  

Temple Israel Youth Committee

A Youth Committee, chaired by a parent volunteer, oversees all three youth group. It meets to discuss relevant issues; brainstorm ideas for new activities and programming; and provide guidance and direction to the professional hired to organize and implement youth programming. Joining the Youth Committee is a great way to become involved in sustaining the Temple Israel community and role model Jewish living for your children or grandchildren.
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