These are some of the activities the Youth Committee oversees. We are busy and are always looking for new members. If you are interested in participating on this committee, please contact us.
Junior Youth Group (JYG)
JYG is for students in grades 6-8. Our JYG is extremely active and has monthly activities. Our Junior Youth Group has two or more adult advisors. They have monthly activities including a weekend retreat, roller skating, Enchanted Castle, Great America and other activities.
High School Students (Formally SYG)
Here we offer an opportunity for our high school members (9th–12th grades) to remain active in the congregation and Jewish community through social, religious and educational programming. They have monthly activities including Second City, a ski/snowboard day, Whirleyball, a weekend retreat to OSRUI, and many other events. We maintain membership in NFTY (our regional organization) and also have combined activities with other synagogues. Our Youth Group has two adult advisors who attend the events. Check out NFTY and their upcoming NFTY activities.
BECOME A YOUTH GROUP MEMBER TODAY!!! Register your children now to ensure that they do not miss out on any of our events!
Our Youth Committee maintains a list of our college students and sends them “CARE” packages several times a year. Our goal is to remind the students they are being remembered at Etz Chaim and we try to send them some treats they will enjoy. Please update your student’s mailing address and email address along with the anticipated year of graduation. We hope these packages will bring a smile to the faces of our students.
Send a Kid to Israel Partnership
We help to sponsor the SKIP (Send-a-Kid-to-Israel Partnership) program and have an auction to benefit this program every three years.
SKIP is a joint program between the JUF, our congregation, and the parents/families of our students. Our rabbi leads a youth trip (grades 10 and above) to Israel every three years. This trip is a highlight for our students who have been fortunate enough to attend.
Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI)
We fully support sending our kids to OSRUI and we boast the largest enrollment of kids in the Chicago area. Our students are creating lifetimes of memories from their fabulous summer experiences at camp. OSRUI is a safe haven for our children where they are free to grow, to learn and to be themselves. For more information on camp, please visit their website.
Robert Scott Samuels Fund
This donative fund provides a wonderful scholarship program that provides camp assistance to any student who writes a letter to the Youth Committee stating why he/she likes camp and would like to attend.
Jeremy Bruder Fund
This fund provides assistance to students who desire to attend camp or Israel trips, but have financial restrictions.
College students can participate in KESHER. The Hebrew word "kesher" translates as "connection." KESHER's goal is to connect Jews in college with their Judaism, both on campus and in their home congregations, and to one another. KESHER is the college education department of the URJ. KESHER serves several different constituencies, including Reform college students, URJ Congregations and their college/youth committees, campus Hillel Foundations, and high school students exploring the possibilities of Jewish life on campus. There is a KESHER contact directory for universities that is available to high school students to contact potential schools to learn about Jewish life on campus. This can be found on the URJ KESHER website.