Youth Life at Temple Emanu-El
Temple Emanu-El youth programs bring the excitement of immersive Jewish experiences to kids and teens to strengthen their Jewish identity and instill Reform Jewish values for the next generations. We strengthen Jewish connections and knowledge for the entire family through meaningful and relevant programs and engagement. Our goal is to create an exciting and positive atmosphere for young adults to find their place in the Jewish community.
Our Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd-grade youth programming focuses on the Jewish values of “kef v’Ruach” [keep the Hebrew], fun and spirit. Our activities create positive connections between the kids, their rabbis, and the Temple Emanu-El.
Our K-2 programming always takes place on Sunday after Religious School has ended (12:30 pm). Activities tend to be 90 minutes, and costs range from $5-$15 per child per activity.
3-5 Grade Youth
Our youth programming for kids in grades 3 through 5 focus on creating fun and Jewish community wherever we go. We travel to different activities in the area to create stronger connections with our friends.
Our 3rd-5th-grade programming usually takes place on Sundays. Generally, costs for activities range from $15-$30. To maintain low costs, we ask for parents to help chaperone and drive kids to events. Most activities are within 20 minutes of Temple Emanu-El. We try to do a mix of outdoor and indoor activities that introduce kids to new hobbies and experiences. In the past, we have gone to Tree Top Quest, Stars and Strikes, Ice Skating, and Young Chef’s Academy.
6-8 Grade: Jr. High Youth
In middle school, the teens begin their introduction to traditional youth group activities. We focus on deepening the bonds between friends and helping the kids create new relationships. This is the first stage when kids have the opportunity to travel to a regional kallah (convention). This regional event puts teens in community with Jews like them from around Atlanta and the Southeast. Through 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade, the kids begin to take ownership over their activities and their Jewish identities.
Our 6th-8th-grade events take place on Saturdays or Sundays. Costs vary, but there is always scholarship money available to help defer some costs. Some of the big events are the Chanukah donut tour of Atlanta, the North Carolina Ski Trip, and Hatikvah Kallah—this year taking place at Camp Thunderbird in South Carolina.
High School Youth (TEFTY)
TEFTY stands for Temple Emanu-El Federation of Temple Youth. We are affiliated with NFTY-SAR: the North American Federation of Temple Youth Southern Region. In TEFTY, we believe in establishing teen leader-adult partnerships. Rabbi Max and Rabbi Rachael serve as the advisors to TEFTY, but the leaders of the group are the teens. Together, they create the programming schedule and attend the regional kallot [conventions]. These events vary year-to-year. In the past we have had Chanukah parties, pool parties, movie nights, and Escape rooms.
Our events range in price and date. Generally, we hold activities on Saturdays or Sundays. Regional kallot (conventions) take place over the weekend. As always, if costs would be a barrier to entry, we offer scholarships for events as needed. If your teen is interested in being a part of TEFTY, please contact Rabbi Rachael.
TEFTY Leadership Council
We are in awe of the power of teens to make sweeping social change and organize impressive communities to action. We want Temple Emanu-El teens to be the top leaders amongst their peers.
We believe that teens have the potential to be key leaders in our future. We want to give them all the resources we have to create fun and amazing experiences for their fellow teens. We also want them to see themselves as someone who can make a real difference in this world.
Being a member of the TEFTY Leadership Council requires fulfillment of the following duties:
- Approval by Rabbi Rachael and your parents
- Enrollment in Confirmation Academy (9th and 10th) or work as a madrich/a in our religious school (11th and 12th)
- Attendance at TEFTY board meetings (typically over Zoom)
- Attend 1 Temple Board meeting in the Fall and 1 meeting in the Spring
- Commitment to attend TEFTY events