11 Reasons to Join CTeen!
12 months ago Rebeca Price 0
Jessica Kiroff & Rebeca Price
Towards the end of the summer, many students find themselves wondering how they will be able to get a break from the stress they experience at school. For Jewish teenagers, youth groups provides a fun, warm environment where they can relax and forget school. With these 11 reasons to join CTeen, deciding on a youth group is no longer a challenge!
1. A Huge International Community
CTeen has over 200 chapters in 23 different countries, and is one of the fastest growing youth groups in the world. Being involved in CTeen will give you the opportunity to meet and hang out with tons of people from around the world with the same beliefs as you.
2. Jewish Life
Judaism is at the heart of everything CTeen does; its programs are centered around Jewish holidays and Shabbat. Such programs include Friday night dinners, Shabbatons, and a myriad of other fun activities. Being involved in CTeen will enrich your Jewish life in a fun, enjoyable way and will allow you to meet other Jewish teenagers outside of your school or synagogue.
3. Leadership Opportunities
~At CTeen, teenagers are encouraged to take initiative to be more impactful and active members of their communities. Students chosen for their chapters leadership board have the opportunity to initiate reform, provide valuable feedback on CTeen programming, and build an international network of teen leaders. CTeen also hosts an annual Leadership retreat for board members where they learn valuable leadership skills from Jewish educators and professionals, network with other CTeen leaders, and have fun.
4. Delicious Food
~ Growing up in a Sephardi family, I’ve eaten rice-containing food for most of my rearing – until I joined CTeen, in which my beloved Rebbetzin introduced me to a whole world of delicious food such as Shakshuka, incredible parve brownies (no need to stay dairy to enjoy a delicious chocolate taste), and her famous vegetable kugel.
5. Your Rabbi and Rebbetzin will always be there for you
~Throughout my years at CTeen, I never felt shy while talking to my Rabbi and Rebbetzin. They have supported me when I felt overwhelmed with school work, when I felt shy at my first shabbaton, and when I simply needed a shoulder to cry on – my Rabbi is also the first person I text when I have a question about Judaism.
6. The International Shabbaton
~ The CTeen International Shabbaton, which over 2500 Jewish teenagers attend, is one of the biggest annual Shabbatons ever. From touring New York City, to Shabbat dinner Friday night (SHOUTOUT TO ALL THE TEENS THAT DANCED AND SANG AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS – YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME), to learning all day on Shabbat, to the most incredible gathering in Times Square motzei Shabbat with 2500 teens (The video biography of the Rebbe was my personal favorite, although Gad Elbaz’s and Nissim Black’s performance was the highlight of many people’s trips), and finally, to the delicious banquet at the end of the trip where many lifelong friendships were made, the CTeen International Shabbaton is an unforgettable experience.
7. Stress Relief!
~ This year I, Baruch HaShem, finished my junior year of high school; I think it’s pretty safe to say that without CTeen, I wouldn’t have done it successfully. After my AP U.S. History class, nothing ever relaxed me as much as the hot meal and soothing words that my Rebbetzin gave off in abundance.
8. Opportunities to learn and grow
~ I remember, as clear as daylight, my Rebbetzin telling me that G-d wants a Jew not only to grow physically (i.e. go to the gym, study to become a successful lawyer, etc), but also to feed his or her Nishama (soul), by learning Torah, engaging in the knowledge of HaShem’s miracles, and of course building a strong relationship with G-d. When I first came to CTeen, I kept kosher and refused to grow any further. CTeen’s non-judgemental environment, however, was able to convince me otherwise, and today I keep Shabbat, wear tzniyut (modest) clothing (my friends couldn’t believe I gave up wearing jeans), and I now eat only Cholov Yisrael dairy – I didn’t even know that was a thing before CTeen! Joining CTeen has truly allowed me to learn and grow with love for G-d.
9. Amazing Shabbatons
~Throughout the school year, many chapters attend or host small, intimate Shabbatons in their region. These Shabbatons, provide a much needed break from my schoolwork, are incredibly fun, and allow for many long deep conversations about Judaism over the course of the Shabbat – these very conversations helped me grown as a person. It was in these very Shabbatons, that I’ve made some of my closest friends.
~ Sephardi or Ashkenazi, secular or religious, Chabad teaches that G-d regards every Jew as his child, whom he loves dearly. The Rebbe taught that practicing Judaism shouldn’t be the exclusive privilege of an elite enclave, but rather something that every Jew should enjoy. For that reason, Chabad welcomes every Jewish teen and offers a warm and non-judgemental environment to grown in.
11. The CTeen anthem
~Super catchy with a marvelous music video, dancing and listening to the CTeen anthem is one of the best parts of any CTeen event. In fact, I’m listening to it right now and you can too. Here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59-2G-R7wNw