JSU Clubs are the backbone of JSU programming. Clubs meet weekly in each school and provide a venue for students of all backgrounds to come together and engage in meaningful and thought provoking discussion on topics of interest to the students. Topics can range from the latest in teen trends, current events, social or political issues, Israel and the Middle East, interpersonal dynamics or any subject of interest to the teens. In addition to contemporary thought teens are introduced to the beauty and depth of Judaism by viewing the topic through a Jewish lens demonstrating the relevance and value of Judaism to modern day living. Students develop a new found appreciation for Judaism, their Jewish identity and the ability to infuse spirituality in their daily lives. Nothing is taboo and students are welcome to suggest whatever topics they wish.
Some club meetings feature a guest speaker on the given topic, while others will address the topic at hand via a crafts project. Each discussion is introduced with something fun and entertaining from "pop culture" related to the topic. Presently, JSU facilitates 15 clubs in 13 area public and private high schools and middle schools.
GALIA & MILTON MOVITZ SENATOR JOHN DANFORTH ISRAEL SCHOLARS
The Galia & Milton Movitz Senator John Danforth Israel Scholars course (MJDIS) provides Israel education, advocacy and leadership training to teenagers looking to develop their understanding of Israel from a historical, modern, and political perspective. MJDIS offers students a multi-modal approach to learning, utilizing engaging speakers from leading Israel advocacy and education organizations, community leaders and multimedia presentations. Students will study the history of Israel and grapple with many issues it faces today. Additionally, students are provided with hands-on advocacy and mentoring opportunities on both local and national levels. Students completing the MJDIS course can earn 3 transferable college credits from St. Louis University.
JEWISH SCHOLARS FELLOWSHIP
The Jewish Scholars Fellowship Program takes contemporary topics of interest to teens and explores them through ancient and modern Jewish text. The course was developed and is taught by JSU Associate Director of Institutional Advancement, and popular JSU Club leader, Rabbi Yitz Staum. “Between his unique ability to connect with teens combined with his engaging personality and his breadth and depth of Torah knowledge, Rabbi Yitz brings to this course all the ingredients necessary for an exciting and inspirational experience that will connect participants to the beauty, depth and relevance of our heritage to contemporary issues”, said JSU Director, Rabbi Mike Rovinsky. The program is divided into two 8 week semesters. the first semester focuses on topics such as: The Jewish History Timeline, The Jewish Calendar, Miracle of Jewish History, Judaism and the Origins of Christianity & Islam, Anti-Semitism Through Classic Jewish Thought and Jewish Law & Government. Second semester topics are chosen by the teens themselves. The course is open to teens grades 9-12. Students who complete the course will receive a $350 stipend towards a JSU affiliated Israel Summer Experience.
JSU ALTERNATE NIGHT
In our quest to always provide content to as many Jewish teens as possible, JSU identified the need to develop a new opportunity for teens who could not attend the after school clubs. In order to fill this need, we started JSU Alternate Night. Since it's inception, "Alternate Night" has evolved from just another opportunity to make up the after school club into an opportnity for another JSU club. Many teens take advantage of a JSU opportunity that they would not have otherwise been able to, while others love the chance to "double dip"! Whether it's at Starbucks or Cold Stone Creamery, Alternate Night has become a very popular JSU program.
JEWISH CONTENT SUPPLEMENTATION
JSU staff partner with various St. Louis Jewish organizations to provide supplemental Jewish educational content specially tailored to their goals and curricula. Whether it's developing a whole course of study or a simple 30 minute class, JSU can help with educational content on any Jewish topic.
TORAH OF UNITY
The centrality and unity of the Jewish People revolves around our Torah. Regardless of how one practices Judaism or what customs they follow, the Torah remains the unifying force for all Jews. In fact, the very last mitzvah in the Torah is the commandment for every Jew to write a Torah scroll. Read more
JEWISH COLLEGE AND GAP YEAR COUNSELINGJSU staff have an abundance of knowledge regarding campus Jewish life, opportunities and services and regularly counsel seniors regarding their college choice when considering these factors. Please don't hesitate to contact any of the JSU staff with questions regarding college choices.
PRESIDENT'S DAY JEWISH FOOTPRINTS TRIP
JSU runs out of town trips over President's Day or other long weekends to provide for a fun and educational immersive Jewish experience. The thrill of a trip out of town coupled with the experience of Shabbos creates a unique opportunity for questioning, inspiration and growth.
ISRAEL SUMMER PROGRAMS
JSU's premier summer program TJJ (The Jerusalem Journey) sends students on a 4 week trip to Israel to experience the breadth and depth of what the land of Israel has to offer, along with inspiring their growth in their own Jewish Peoplehood. Nightly fun and educational learning experiences provide the perfect counterbalance for the intense touring activity of the day. The program is highly subsidized and students are regularly able to attend the program for under $1,000. For more information visit https://tjj.jsu.org/
HOLIDAY PROGRAMS AND MEALS
JSU Staff host Shabbat and Jewish Holiday meals, as well as organize and run multi-day holiday programs during Simchat Torah, Purim and Shavuout. For each holiday, college aged JSU advisors are flown into town to provide additional inspiration and fun. These holiday programs provide the teens with meaningful and unforgettable Jewish experiences.
Each year, in the days leading up to or following Purim, JSU runs a series of educational and entertaining events, bolstered by the inclusion of college students who volunteer their time. Typical events include a costume party bus trip, Shabbat dinner and oneg, board-game meet up, Saturday night melava malka , bonfire and more.
In keeping with the ancient Jewish tradition of learning Torah all night on the evening of Shavuout, JSU organizes an all night learning program with sessions and discussions specifically tailored to teens. JSU organizes three learning tracks, one for teen girls, one for teen boys and a co-ed group of middle school students. The long night's work is broken up with a 2 am BBQ!
LOL (LEARNING ON-LINE)
Through various out of school interactions such as our TJJ trip to Israel and regional retreats and trips, JSU students frequently develop ongoing relationships with volunteer advisers of college age. They can choose to enter into a learning program with these volunteers on any Jewish subject they like and can even earn up to $500 towards a JSU summer program of their choice.
ONE ON ONE LEARNING
JSU works with student to set up one on one learning opportunities tailored to their level of Jewish education, and fields of particular interest. Learning is either with JSU staff or community members.
JEWISH ENGAGEMENT LIASON
JSU Staff constantly serve to promote various Jewish opportunities for students from Synagogue programming, youth groups, holiday programs, Jewish sports leagues and more. We get to know the JSUers and connect them with the programs that meet their unique tastes and needs.