Some teenagers spend many years searching for their connection to Judaism. Some wonder about how they can explain to others their relationship to the Jewish religion.
One way teens can express that connection is through the Student to Student program of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), which brings Jewish high school juniors and seniors to other schools where there are few, if any, Jewish students.
Student to Student sends four-member groups to schools throughout the St. Louis area and beyond, typically with at least one student in the group from each branch of Judaism. These students give presentations to middle school and high school classes on the different aspects of Judaism. They discuss a range of topics, such as keeping kosher, Jewish holidays, Israel, Shabbat and other activities that highlight life as Jewish teenager.
“[Students] present to high school classes about what it means to Jewish,” said John Kalishman, president of the JCRC board. “We do this to try to combat stereotypes and foster strong relationships with other groups in the community. We know this touches the lives of students in the classroom, and hopefully this changes their views and stereotypes for their lifetime.”
Kalishman said the feedback JCRC receives from schools hosting the Student to Student program is often very positive. Many times, schools have asked JCRC to send more groups to continue presentations.
“A lot of the time, the questions students ask reflect…