Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Teen Story

It is always the season of giving! Below is a letter from one our very own teens Jennifer. Jennifer was so inspired by our programming, she decided to offer to give back to the Y.

Hello Abraham,

My name is Jennifer. I'm a student at City College Academy of the Arts and I participated in last year's SAT Prep program. I'm very thankful to have had that opportunity and without it I couldn't have gotten into some of the great colleges that accepted me this year.

Because of this, I would like to give back to the community through the YM & YWHA by sharing my skills. Last summer I learned how to build websites and make computer programs. I enjoyed it and for a while, I taught my sister how to make websites at home. 

Will there be any technology programs this summer that I can help out with? If not, would it be possible to start a Web Development Club at the YM & YWHA? Please let me know if this is possible so that I can speak to you about what I can offer.

Thank You, 


We asked Jennifer to share her experiences at the Y with us, and here is what she had to say:

1) How did you hear about the Y? When I was looking to register for a class to prepare for my SATs, my guidance counselor told me about the SAT Prep course at the Y.

2) How did you enjoy your experience here? The SAT Prep course helped me improve my SAT score tremendously.

3) Would you recommend this program to friends? I enjoyed the SAT Prep class very much. Being a teen in this neighborhood, there isn't much free programming available to us. The Y is the only place in the community where teens can come and enjoy free activities.

4) Do you have any memorable stories from the program? Talking with my peers and teachers after the SAT Prep class and reviewing the material was beneficial and fun!

The Y's free teen programming is design for people like Jennifer: to give our future leaders the skills and tools to be able to give back to our community.

Our Teen Program Coordinator Abraham pictured above with Jennifer

Monday, March 3, 2014

Challah Braiding with the PJ Library

Our Jewish Program Coordinator Cyndi Rand has recently attended Song Leader Boot Conference in St. Louis, MO designed to enhance her engagement and leadership skills as a Jewish Educator. She came back with renewed energy, tools, connections and passion.

Immediately upon her return, she organized and held a highly successful event “Beauty of Braiding Challah” with twelve local Jewish families in attendance. For twenty four years Cyndi had no successful mentoring of how to braid challah until she located a YouTube video of a bread baker in England who artfully described the easy way of braiding challah. She learned and shared her newly acquired knowledge with the families. Cyndi combined this skill with reading a PJ Library book on Shabbat celebration, celebrating the beauty of Judaism, creating connections and inspiring them to continue being part of the Y family and the greater Jewish community.