Youth Group Newsletter (December 2013 — January 2014)

As I write this article, NUTSY is just returning ftom TASTY’s Fall Conclavette, a region-wide event hosted by the youth group at Temple Sinai in Sharon, MA. The theme of the weekend-long event was “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”. Participants were treated to an awesome Kabbalat Shabbat service featuring Temple Sinai Sharon’s Cantor, Jeff Klepper.

We had the opportunity to spend the day on Saturday on the grounds of the beautiful Everwood Day Camp. Thankfully we were blessed with some beautiful weather, which allowed for outdoor play and a picnic lunch. The afternoon was completed with a deeply spirited color war, during which participants competed for their teams with activities such as gaga and a project runway challenge. On Saturday evening, the teens gathered for a beautiful havdalah service, followed by a super fun superhero themed dance!

Back home at our Temple Sinai in Newington, NUTSY members have been enjoying some really great peer-led programming. So far NUTSY’s co-president, Gabri Silverman, spent an evening teaching participants a series of fun and active Israeli dances that she had learned last summer at URJ Kutz Camp. Also, co-president Erica Thureson helped the group to bond and get to know each other through a program which included MnMs, coloring, and cupcakes!

On Election Day, NUTSY faced off against GRSLY, the youth group from Temple Kol Haverim in Glastonbury, in a bowling tournament. Even though NUTSY were not the victors of the tournament, everyone had a great time getting to hang out with the members of GRSLY.

NUTSY has designed our own sweatshirts this year, which are currently in production. They will be available for purchase from me soon at the Temple on Sundays and Wednesdays for $25. Limited numbers will be available and sizes are first come first served. The sweatshirts are cozy, fleece lined, front-pocket hoodies in “antique sapphire” blue. Look forward to seeing them being worn by Temple Sinai’s teens pretty much everywhere this winter!

NUTSY’s Chanukah Party on November 20 also marked the start of the Junior Youth Group programming year! NUTSY closed out their party by hosting a special party just for prospective JYG members. Members in grades 5 – 7 played dreidel games, said Chanukah blessings, and made candy dreidels with NUTSY members. The next dates for Junior Youth Group events will be on December 8 and January 5 (both Sundays), immediately following religious school classes.

Religious school teaching assistants have just begun a new program at Temple Sinai, where for a half hour each Sunday they leave their classrooms to participate in some Jewish learning. During this time, the girls are joining me for our very own “Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing” group. We spend each session connecting with each other and the Jewish issues that affect teenage girls. For example, in our frst session we read and discussed the story of Judith in anticipation of Chanukah. The boys are meeting with Alan Merriman and participating in the “Shevet Achim: the Brotherhood” program. Their time in this program offers them their own “guy space,” where they can explore what masculinity and being Jewish means to them. For more information about these programs, please visit These programs are mandatory for teaching assistants in the Religious School, but are open to all graduates of the Religious School in 8th grade and up! Please contact me if you are not enrolled as a teaching assistant this year, but would like to participate.

NUTSY (grades 8-12) events, meetings, and activities are ongoing, and it is never too late to join usl Please see the attached calendar of upcoming events! As always, please feel free to contact me any time with questions or comments.