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Getting teens to come to a Chabad program can be challenging, says Rabbi Dovid Perlstein of Montreal, so he decided to take his program to the teens instead by approaching local high schools.
Rabbi Perlstein is one of over a hundred JLI Teens affiliates who use the program as their vehicle of choice for attracting the youth segment. Some, like Perlstein, are persuading high school administrators to incorporate JLI Teens into their curriculum.
“It was a tough sell,” said Rabbi Perlstein. “It took a lot of meetings back and forth with the school, but once they saw the level of professionalism I was bringing, they agreed.” Rabbi Perlstein teaches in a different high school every day of the week. After seeing the program in action, the school authorities were sold.
Some shluchim take a different approach. Rabbi Levi Raskin of Cote S Luce visits high schools offering a Lunch’n’Learn program that reaches hundreds of students at the various schools, including Jewish day schools, as a way to attract more teens to his Teen programs.
“You’d be surprised to see how well it goes over in the day schools, since it’s so practical and fun for the students to participate.” He said.
He explained that teaching in a school not only enhances the credibility and reputation of the shliach, but also expands your community reach. “I am reaching far more teens than I ever would if I just taught in my Chabad Center,” he said.
Public high schools and secular Jewish day schools are not the only venue for JLI Teens. Currently, Lubavitch high schools in Crown Heights, Florida, and Melbourne are bringing JLI Teen curriculum to their students.
Bais Rivkah teacher Sara’le Blau relays how much the girls gain from relevant and interactive material. “It’s urgently important that we make curriculum like this available to our students. These courses have the potential to have a major impact on their lives. It’s rare to have highly professional curriculum prepared for us for us — the girls walk out of the classroom with such solid, broad information.”
One Bais Rivkah student shared her personal experience after the course Life on the Line concluded, “I have been impressed by the variety and logic of your educational courses. As an eighteen-year-old living in today’s world, I believe that a JLI course geared towards teenagers in our community is a great benefit.
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