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Youth Department Updates 

05/02/2019 04:19:54 PM


Dear Members:

We are excited to share important news regarding our Youth Department. As of July 1, we are creating the new position of Youth Department Director, which will oversee both the administration and the content of all of B'nai David-Judea's youth activities, including Rechov Yeladim, Junior Congregation and Cocoa Club, Tween Minyan, Holiday programming, Minyan for Minions, Teen Minyan and Coffee Club. By having one person overseeing all of our youth services, our children will enjoy richer Tefilla and learning opportunities, and we will have more seamless transitions among the various age-levels in the program.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that we have hired Alon Saig to serve as our first Youth Department Director. (Please see Alon's bio below!) Alon will guide and supervise all of our youth staff, and will work closely with the committees, clergy, parents, and children to ensure a vibrant and meaningful youth program.

Supporting Alon will be new Rechov Yeladim Committee co-chairs Jeff Zack and Gabe Wintner, whose committee members are Josh Kaplan, Janet Fuchs, Gabe Meyerson, Daniella Plutchok, Naomi Schwarzberg, Leah Weiss and Talya Stein. We are delighted that Julie Fax will continue to chair our Teen Committee.

We thank our immediate past Rechov Yeladim Chair Yael Mashbaum for her help over the past year in looking at Rechov Yeladim in new ways. And a big note of gratitude to Kelila Siciliano, who has overseen Rechov Yeladim for the last year and a half. Kelila has engaged the children and the counselors, and brought warmth to the weekly logistics that make Rechov Yeladim a safe and enjoyable environment for our children. We wish both Kelila and Yael well in their future endeavors.
If you have any questions about or want to get involved in our youth programming going forward, please feel free to be in touch with Rav Yosef or Adynna Swarz.

Alon Saig currently serves as an All Campus Educator at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy in the department of Campus Life, where he ensures that children have the best positive experience inside and outside of the classroom.  He is also the Junior Congregation youth leader at Beth Jacob Congregation and Director for the Gurim young children division at Camp Ariel of Beverly Hills. Alon grew up in Los Angeles, attended Hillel and YULA, and then received his bachelor's degree in business management from California State University Northridge.  Alon is passionate about teaching Torah in new and unique ways and believes that every child should have a deep, meaningful connection to their Jewish identity.

Alon will be pursuing our vision statement that we've created for the new Youth Director position:

The Youth Department Director enables BDJ to fulfill its mission to - in partnership with parents - raise a generation of children who enjoy and regularly participate in the experience of being in shul on Shabbat and Holidays. It is our goal that the children of our community embark on their lives as young adults with an implicit attachment to synagogue participation, knowledge of Modern Orthodox practices, love of Hashem and mitzvot, and with the necessary skills to make themselves at home in whatever synagogue they will attend.

Adynna Swarz, Executive Director

Duke Helfand, President

Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

Rabbanit Alissa Thomas-Newborn

Mon, June 17 2024 11 Sivan 5784