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Teen Life at CBI is centered around youth empowerment and leadership development. What does it mean to be a member of a community today? How do I uniquely contribute, and how do I support my peers to do the same?

CBI offers three unique avenues for teen engagement outside of ritual leadership:   


  • Middle School Youth Group: Solelim (Trail Blazers) meet once a month to socialize, celebrate Jewish holidays and have fun!
  • High School Youth Group: Kirvah (Connection) meet once a month to socialize, celebrate and relate to each other as Jewish high schoolers.
  • Shefa Teen Farm Program
  • Winter Teen Social Justice Fellowship (see below)

Our youth groups bring together teens from the Greater Northampton area to connect to their traditions, their culture, and to each other. Each student involved plays a role, from attending the program to holding a board position. Students can be a part of Solelim beginning in grade 6, and in Kirvah until grade 12, cultivating deep relationships with peers and community along the way, and developing the leadership of their peers and themselves.  

Questions? Contact Youth Advisor Tessa Levenstein.


Tessa Levenstein is a second-year student at Amherst College. She is from Amherst and attended the Regional high school there where she first connected to the Jewish youth group, Chai. Chai was very important to her in High School: it is where she first started thinking about her Judaism, and where she made many of her deepest friendships. As a college student, she plans to focus on history and math. She is also passionate about theater and the visual arts.

She is so excited to be working with CBI to help support the middle and high school youth groups. For her, the ages 12-17 were wonderful and exciting, but they were also, at times, difficult and overwhelming. She believes that the thoughtful community that these youth groups create can support people through their inevitable challenges while helping them better enjoy the wonderful parts of middle and high school. 


Tessa Levenstein, Youth Advisor 

Teen Shefa

Shefa: Teen Internship and Apprenticeship

Shefa is a teen program on Abundance Farm in Northampton, MA, which offers learning and experience with farming, food justice, and community building. For those who are new to the Farm, the internship track introduces many of the skills it takes to run a one acre urban farm, and discusses the systems and structures that situate this farm within the larger food system.  Interns will also practice self reflection and community building through games, workshops on identity and justice, and communication development. The apprenticeship track offers Shefa alumni the opportunity to build off of the farm skills they have learned in previous summers and practice teaching these skills to peers and community members.  Apprentices will also be given training and opportunities to lead community building activities such as games, reflection times, and celebrations.  Apprentices will receive training, support, and feedback as they develop as leaders throughout the session.

While Abundance Farm is a Jewish community project, this program is open to people of all faiths, beliefs and backgrounds.  We will be exploring farming, food justice, and community building through a Jewish lens, and we will also be exploring these topics through other lenses and other identities.

Mon, July 26 2021 17 Av 5781