Immersive, enriching community service through Alternative Summer Break

posted by on Dec 26, 2017

Community service is such an important activity for teens that it shouldn’t just be squeezed in between school, sports, and part-time jobs in order to fill a graduation requirement.

In fact, every winter holiday season Tel Yehudah and Young Judaea teens gather for Alternative Winter Break to participate in a week long service-learning program that brings their leadership and social action experiences at TY to life.

Tikkun olam (repairing our world) is such a core value of Young Judaea and Tel Yehudah, that ASB.jpgwe are excited to expand our offering as we launch a two-week intensive at TY this summer: Alternative Summer Break.

ASB will provide an opportunity for teenagers to take part in community service that is immersive, tied to Jewish values, and part of the larger summer camp experience. Tel Yehudah has teamed up with Repair the World, an organization that is integrating service into American Jewish life, to create a deep experience housed in the extraordinary environment of Tel Yehudah in Barryville, N.Y.


During Alternative Summer Break (ASB), high schoolers can spend two weeks in an immersive social justice and community service program getting hands-on experience in real-world environments. Teens develop leadership skills and participate in experiential Jewish learning, with an outlet for discussion and deeper understanding.

Each day includes opportunities to step into urban or rural environments where teens get involved in issues like poverty or literacy, bookended by more traditional camp-like activities, including t’fillot, chofesh, singing, dance, and camp-wide meals.

While participants leave the program with a certificate of completion for at least 40 hours of community service, we see ASB as just the beginning of a lifelong commitment to service and active citizenship.