Temple Israel welcomes youth of all ages with diverse programming designed to foster social, spiritual, and educational growth and to help develop the future Jewish leaders of our congregation and the Jewish community. Our goal is to help create a fun and stimulating atmosphere that encourages our young people to develop strong positive bonds with each other, the Temple, and Jewish tradition. Questions? For information about the Youth Groups, contact our Director of Congregational Learning Ben Mazur.
Junior Youth Group (JYG)
JYG is for seventh and eighth graders and is open to all Jewish youth in the area. Besides giving our middle school students additional opportunities to learn, grow and have fun together, it’s another way for young people to begin establishing their own Jewish identity. JYG is an extra opportunity for youth to solidify friendships formed with their peers as well as getting to know the OTYG board members. JYG is a great way to get young people started on the road to OTYG and NFTY (local and national high school youth groups), which has been documented as one of the elements that keeps youth involved in the Jewish community as adults.
Omaha Temple Youth Group (OTYG)
OTYG is open to all youth in grades 9 – 12. The overall purpose is to instill Jewish identity and foster commitment to the ideals and values of Reform Judaism. These purposes are pursued in a framework which emphasizes the development of personal and leadership skills in a wholesome, social, fun Jewish environment.
OTYG has a student-led governing board assisted by Youth Director Jacob Kahn. The board has worked hard to plan a year that provides opportunities for students to engage in social action, religious and cultural activities, and many social events. Please check the weekly eTidings and the Temple Tidings calendars on a regular basis for upcoming events. The OTYG bulletin board in the Religious School hallway also posts events and news. OTYG is “going green” so most communications will be made by email, telephone or text messages.
OTYG is part of the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) and allows students to expand their youth group experience with youth from all over the country. To learn more about the National Federation of Temple Youth and our region go to www.nfty.org and www.nfty.org/mv.
Today, more than 750 Reform congregations, divided into 19 regions throughout North America, sponsor Temple Youth Groups, bringing the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) experience to more than 10,000 high schoolers in grades 9 thru 12. Each year, an extensive menu of year round and summer programs offers exciting choices for life changing NFTY experiences. Leadership training, urban community service, NFTY in Israel, NFTY High School in Israel all provide wonderful opportunities for teens.
NFTY-MV includes Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado, and parts of Illinois, Kentucky and South Dakota. NFTY Regions provide programming and administrative support to the local youth groups – helping to share the wisdom and experience gathered from hundreds of youth groups and adult leaders from across North America. Missouri Valley’s four or five regional events are an outstanding supplement to what takes place locally, and are very popular among many of our regional members.