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Teen Life at CBI 

Teen Life at CBI is an inclusive, empowering way for teens to connect to Judaism. There are many ways to get involved!

C.H.A.L.L.A.H.: CBI is offers ongoing, weekly, courses in skill-based Judaica studies (cooking! music! theater!) for grades 8th - 12th. See here for all the details.

Youth Group: These year-round events revolve around holidays, service projects, and social opportunities. We offer many types of activities at various times so that there is something for everyone, and events range from cooking to rock climbing, movie nights and more. To sign up for emails about youth group events, please contact Aaron Kagan.

Shefa: שפע, or Shefa, is Hebrew for abundance, and it is a paid internship for teens on Abundance Farm at CBI. We offer several programs for teens who are entering grades 8-12. These programs are centered on Jewish justice values, meaningful work outside, and community building. To learn more visit www.abundancefarm.org/shefa.

ALMA: ALMA is the CBI religious school program, and it is open for students pre-K through 7th grade. See here for more information:  www.cbinorthampton.org/alma

Become a madrich/madricha! Graduates of ALMA are encouraged to become a madrich or madrichah (“guide” or “instructor”). This is a paid, part-time role as an assistant in the younger ALMA classes on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings, or at some teen life activities. For more information, contact Rabbi Ariella Rosen.

B’nai Mitzvah: Teens (or anyone!) may pursue a B’nai Mitzvah (coming of age ceremony) at CBI regardless of whether they are enrolled in ALMA. For for more information, contact Amy Stein or visit https://www.cbinorthampton.org/bnaimitzvah

Havurah: The Havurah Initiative supports teens and adults in developing small groups of homegrown, peer-led, Jewish gatherings. Each havurah (small group) is led by an individual “connector” and is organized around a theme. Havurot receive funding from the Grinspoon Foundation, including a stipend for the connector. Any teen can start a new Havurah! To learn more, visit https://www.cbinorthampton.org/havurah

CBI Community Life: In addition to teen programming, teens are of course invited into all other aspects of CBI life, including services, Abundance Farm, and our many ongoing classes, discussions, and other events. See the CBI calendar for the full schedule, or sign up for the weekly newsletter.. 

You tell us! Do you have an idea for a teen event or program? Do you have a skill you want to share with teens in a workshop? Want support on an independent project? Great! Please contact Aaron Kagan to discuss.  

Please note: For all of the above, we hope that cost is never a barrier. Any families seeking financial support are encouraged to contact our office with the subject heading “teen program support.” All emails w
ill remain confidential.  

Meet Teen Engagement Coordinator, Aaron Kagan


Aaron Kagan (He/Him/His) is glad to return to CBI after leading teen activities here from 2010 - 2012. He has several years of high school teaching experience, including the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School in Hadley, and the United World College USA, in New Mexico. Aaron has a BA in literature from Brandeis University and a background in theater and media. He lives in Florence and loves hiking with his family and dog, writing poetry, cooking, and foraging for wild edibles.

Mon, June 17 2024 11 Sivan 5784