Engaging Youth & Young Adults
The Reform Jewish Community of Canada provides young people with immersive Jewish experiences in Canada and around the world instilling a sense of joy, compassion, and pride in being Jewish while nurturing our youth’s innate desire to make a difference in the world. These programs are offered through the URJ, the North American arm of the Reform Community, or are affiliates/partners. The youth programs offered engage more than 20,000 youth, teens, and young adults each year.
Central to our strategy is a collaboration with Reform congregations, other Jewish organizations, and individuals who are committed to youth engagement. Together with our congregations, we offer a continuum of influence that starts during childhood, continues through the college years, and sees expression in Jewish engagement and identification during adulthood. Our goal is not a transactional, “one-off” experience but the creation of committed, transformational, ongoing relationships that ultimately leads to an increase in the number of young Jews choosing to be Jewish, living Jewish lives, and impacting the world in positive ways.
Programs offered through URJ
For 75 years, NFTY has offered thousands of young people the opportunity to explore and live Reform Judaism. Through programs that are offered by nearly 500 Reform congregations and on a regional and North American level, teens are encouraged to forge Jewish identities in consonance with the values of Reform Judaism.
Participation in NFTY helps teens build confidence, friendships and leadership skills through experiential youth-led educational programming including social justice projects, worship, and community-building initiatives. NFTY is open to teens in grades 6 to 12. FIND OUT MORE!
What is Camp George? URJ Camp George is the Reform Movement’s only Canadian camp. Since 1999 Camp George has offered the best in Reform Jewish Camping blended with the experience and tradition of an Ontario residential camp experience. Everyone has a place at Camp George. We take pride in letting campers be themselves at Camp. We strive to make sure that every child feels welcomed and supported.
What makes Camp George unique? We are guided by our mission that URJ Camp George is a Reform Jewish camp that nurtures Jewish identity, knowledge and values through a fun and immersive summer camp experience that transforms lives, building community within and beyond its borders. We strive always to maintain and grow Camp George as a safe space where we respect and celebrate everyone’s ways of identifying themselves, as we are all made b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.
What happens at Camp? Camp is transformative! Our campers participate in activities and programs that builds skills, develops lifelong friendships, and connects them to amazing staff that who are role models, living Jewish values-not just teaching them. Campers participate in a wide range of recreational activities like athletics, arts, adventure, and waterfront. Campers live in an immersive Jewish community allowing them to see the world through a Jewish lens, helping to strengthen their Jewish identity and living Jewish values each and every day. FIND OUT MORE!
Welcome to a school where students are exploring deeply, inquiring critically and grappling with big ideas and real world issues. Our progressive Jewish education, combined with the global outlook of our International Baccalaureate Programme, shapes the way our students look at the world and their Judaism: with curiosity, with personal meaning and with a sense of collective responsibility. Leo Baeck graduates are equipped with the knowledge of Jewish tradition, the spirit of Tikkun Olam and the confidence and critical thinking skills necessary to navigate our complex world, as global citizens and as modern Jews. FIND OUT MORE!
NFTY – URJ Heller High
Heller High School in Israel is an accredited semester or summer-long program for Reform Jewish high school students in grades 10 to 12 that offers an unparalleled opportunity to be immersed in the richness of the land, culture, people and history of Israel, all while earning high school and college credit. FIND OUT MORE!
Other Resources for Youth
PJ Library sends free Jewish children's books to families across the world every month. We know that something magical happens when parents sit down together to read with their children. PJ Library shares Jewish stories that can help your family talk together about values and traditions that are important to you.
A program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library is made possible through partnerships with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations. Families raising kids from birth through 9 years old with Judaism as part of their lives, are welcome to sign up. PJ Library welcomes all Jewish families, whatever your background, knowledge, or family make-up, or observance may be.
Hillel Canada’s mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may further enrich the Jewish people and the world. Hillel student leaders, professionals and lay leaders are dedicated to creating a pluralistic, welcoming and inclusive environment for Jewish college students that encourages and supports intellectual, spiritual and social growth.
Hillel helps students find a balance between being distinctively Jewish and universally human by encouraging them to pursue tzedek (social justice), tikkun olam (repairing the world) and Jewish learning and to support Israel and global Jewish peoplehood.
Local Hillels are funded and promoted by their local communities, while Hillel Ontario and Hillel Canada provide added value with national programs that strengthen and support the programming, professional development and the work of the boards. It also serves as a link to the international Hillel in Washington.
Hillel Ontario plays a direct managerial role in South West Ontario and Hillel Canada with Atlantic Hillels, providing direct supervision and guidance for the staff and lay volunteers.
By periodically convening directors and staff at professional development seminars and events – both live and virtual - Hillel Canada has developed a network of thought partners and serves as a bridge between campus professionals from coast-to-coast.
Hillel Canada works closely with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (www.cija.ca) to engage students as participants in Israel advocacy programs on campus and as advocates for Israel within student government and campus policies.
Please check back often as we are constantly updating this page. Do you have an event, program or link you would like to share? Click HERE to contact us.