Tract has received a grant for Temple Or Elohim’s newly formed program from the Jewish Education Project. The program was awarded the highest grant level of $1,000 for its exceptional and innovative model.
The Jewish Education Project provides grant money to projects it believes advance teen engagement and Jewish awareness.
The organization told Tract that although it received a very high volume of qualified applications and despite the competition, “Your proposal truly stood out in the crowd.”
Tract’s proposal emphasized a Jewish experience through hot topic discussions. She explained that teens today are faced with many challenges and pressures to be the very best. The goal of the Teen Program is for Temple Or Elohim to provide its teens with a sense of self-worth through reflection, self-understanding and expression of their future goals. Using Judaism as a strong focal point, the program has dealt with numerous social issues and concerns of today’s teens, including bullying. In addition, they are engaged in a Krav Maga, an Israeli martial arts course, to gain self-confidence and a positive body image.
The Teen Program will be taking trips, in order to explore places and history important to the Jewish People and, in the process, to meet teens from other temples.
The teens involved in this program have asked to invite friends who are not members of Temple Or Elohim to share in this experience. In this way, Tract hopes to expand the temple’s positive influence into the surrounding community.