Local teen shares Mitzvah Corps experience!

Jared Schnee, 12th grader at Centaurus High School in Boulder, CO

Last summer, I spent two weeks with Mitzvah Corps in the Pacific Northwest. Mitzvah Corps is a program that connects Jewish teens from all over North America with a variety of social justice travel experiences throughout the world. I signed up for a few reasons. First, I wanted to meet new people; I knew a handful of other Jews my age but I wanted to meet more and expand my circle, as well as meet people with backgrounds and ideas that differed from my own. I also wanted to be involved in something active, to do something that would help improve the lives of other people. Last year, I had been involved in planning a program for a NFTY event about the current refugee crisis, and I wanted to do something more, even if it was small, to help refugees. At Mitzvah Corps in the Pacific Northwest, we partnered with the Seattle branch of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to plan and run a summer camp for refugee children in the Seattle area.  

Over two weeks in July with Mitzvah Corps, I experienced college living at the University of Washington in Seattle and met more than 30 Jewish teens from more than 15 states. In addition to the camp that we ran together, we went on some great hikes and explored the city of Seattle. I really liked the community we formed at Mitzvah Corps. Almost everyone attended without knowing anyone else, maybe one or two other people at most. This allowed us all to bond without pre-existing cliques, and to support each other. Everyone was in the same boat socially, and many teens had not previously been involved in any Jewish youth programs.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from my Mitzvah Corps experience was seeing first-hand how people can have very different perspectives of the same thing. This became most apparent one afternoon while we were running the summer camp. The US Navy Blue Angels fighter jets were practicing formations overhead, and while I thought the jets were very cool, some of the refugee campers were scared because the jets reminded them of something very different; they made associations between the jets and the constant fighting many of them had left back in the countries they’d fled. While there was so much we had in common with these campers, this moment served as an important reminder of how different the worlds we’d grown up in are, and why the work we were doing was so important. My time with Mitzvah Corps helped me to develop new experiences, new friends, and most importantly, empathy.

For more information about Mitzvah Corps, visit mitzvahcorps.org or call 212-650-4071



2017 Young Adult Travel to Israel Subsidies

JEWISHcolorado is offering a limited number of stipends to teens and young adults ages 16-30 participating in peer group trips to Israel in 2017. This does not include the Joyce Zeff Israel Study Tour (IST), as separate funding is available for IST subsidies. The purpose of these subsidies is to enable those for whom the financial burden of Israel travel program costs could be a barrier for participation.

The subsidy amount is determined by both length and cost of the trip, as follows:

  • $500 for eligible trips of six (6) weeks or less or eligible trips that cost less than $8,000.
  • $1,000 for eligible trips of longer than six (6) weeks or eligible trips that cost $8,000 or more.

Subsidies will be distributed as applications are received: on a first come, first served basis, until all available funds have been distributed. 


  1. To encourage and develop knowledge, awareness and commitment to the Jewish community and to Israel.
  2. To channel the interest back into the community in a positive way upon return to the U.S.
  3. To enhance and further the connection between the people of Israel and the people of Colorado.

Who is Eligible?

  • Jewish teens and young adults between the ages of 16 and 30 by start of program who are Colorado residents.

What is the Commitment?

  • Subsidy recipients will be expected to help promote Israel, Israel travel & Israel advocacy efforts in the community upon their return.

Which Israel programs are eligible?

  • Program must be an organized educational experience in Israel recognized by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the Government of Israel, a national Jewish youth group, a Jewish camp, or MASA Israel Journey.
  • Travel programs must be operated by a local/national/international organization (no private tours or missions).

Application Process:

  1. Applicants must complete the official application and submit it with proof of acceptance by a qualifying program.
  2. Subsidies will be distributed as applications are received, on a first come, first served basis until funds are depleted.
  3. Applications will be reviewed for adherence to guidelines.
  4. Submit application to:

    Debi Crawley, Executive Assistant
    300 South Dahlia, Suite 300
    Denver, CO80246
    Email: dcrawley@JEWISHcolorado.org  |  Fax: 303-322-8328

  5. If the applicant does not actually participate in or complete the program, he/she is responsible for facilitating reimbursement of JEWISHcolorado funds received.

Due Dates for 2017 Subsidies:

  • Applications may be submitted beginning January 9, 2017.
  • No applications will be accepted after June 15, 2017, or when all available funds have been distributed.

Payment of Funds: The subsidy check will be made payable to the Israel program, without exception, and will be mailed to the participant/participant’s family for them to forward to the program. It will be the participant’s or their family’s responsibility to send the check to the program.

Questions? Please do not hesitate to call Debi Crawley, at 303-316-6462 or email dcrawley@JEWISHcolorado.org.

Hazon Food Conference

Are you a foodie? Do you dream about milking cows while in class? Are you interested in learning how to eat more sustainably? Are you curious about how to fight climate change? Then the Hazon Food Conference is for you! Join us, along with other food enthusiasts - farmers, rabbis, educators, chefs, writers, students, and professionals - to connect with, and continue to build, the New Jewish Food Movement. Be there as the Jewish food community gathers to celebrate and explore how we make food choices in relation to our tradition and how to connect these choices in our everyday life.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday November 15More information and the full scholarship application can be found here. Please share with your networks. 

Eat and drink, learn and create, and celebrate at the 2016 Hazon Food Conference with leading lights in the world of food and sustainability, including:

  • Judith Friedlander from FoodFaith, an interfaith and intercultural garden in Australia
  • Jeffrey Yoskowitz, co-owner of The Gefilteria and co-author of The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods
  • Rabbi Barya Schachter, the son of Reb Zalman, who will be leading an educational schechita (kosher slaughter) in partnership with the Jewish Initiative for Animals
  • Ian Herzmark of Grow and Behold and founder of Migrash Farm, who will be speaking about ancient grains and leading a butchery demo
  • Marissa Nucklels of The Homestead in Nachlaot, Jerusalem, who will be discussing the spiritual symbolism of oil

P.S. Want to share your food passion at the conference? It's not too late to submit a proposal to present and teach!

Registration for our Premier 8th Grade Program NaviG8 is still open!!

We had an awesome first NaviG8 session last week and are super excited for the secon session coming up tomorrow, Tuesday September 20th from 5-7pm.  We played some team building games including Bamboozle (watch the video attached below to see it in action!). We created expectations/rules for how we want to operate as a group as well as ideas around what they thought we would be doing throughout the 23 weeks and what they want to do. Some ideas generated around "wants" were games, meditation, cooking, time at the JCC farm, and leadership skills. 

We have an awesome core group that from the moment we started were open and friendly to each other.  We are keeping registration open for another week so come and join us for this awesome program!  It runs for 23 weeks from September to April on Tuesday nights from 5-7pm. 





Get Published in jGirls or Join Our Editorial Board!

jGirls Magazine is now accepting Editorial Board applications and content submissions from self-identifying Jewish teenage girls.

An online magazine and community, jGirls is by and for Jewish teenage girls ages 13-19 across all denominations. The magazine is a forum for girls to create and engage in a Jewish community of peers on their own terms.

jGirls' Editorial Board will consist of 10 girls who will be instrumental in shaping the direction of the magazine. We are accepting applications for our first-ever Editorial Board members now through October 2nd at 1pm Eastern Time.

Find Out More About Joining Our Editorial Board

jGirls' content will be created by girls. We are currently accepting articles, essays, fiction, poetry, humor, photographs, music, videos, artwork and other creative materials for publication. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. 

Submissions Guidelines

Boulder’s Premier 8th Grade Jewish Experience

A collaborative effort with the entire Boulder Jewish Community that positions itself to be a formative step in a young adult’s Jewish exploration. We’ve crafted this program to be accessible and designed for all Jewish backgrounds that requires less commitment than traditional education models.  We plan to dynamically engage our participants through immersive experiences, relationship building, critical thinking, and a personalized approach focused on the psycho-social and identity development of participants as they prepare to enter High School.  Gatherings will be sequenced with ensemble building, applying relevant frameworks, interactive workshops, and reflective processing.  Topic range from social dynamics, time management, current affairs, Israel narratives, drugs/alcohol, and gender/sexuality through Jewish lenses.   Once a month gatherings will break into gender groups and use Moving Traditions™ curriculum to create an alternative space for discussion and growth. Facilitation is focused on the individual participants needs and constructed by BJTI staff who are experienced in a variety of settings, engagement methodologies and youth work.  This program also integrates local clergy, community leaders and field professionals in a space that allows ongoing coaching and mentorship.  Our intention is for  participants will gain a larger peer group, more confidence in themselves and , newfound inspiration and passion. Coupled with exposure and knowledge participants are better prepared to make healthy, informed decisions.