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Teen Learning and Engagement

The Book of Proverbs (22.6) says “educate youth according to their needs, and even when they are older, they will not stray.” Our goal is to help all 8-12 graders at Adat Shalom find their paths.

Download our Pathways for Teens brochure

Register for Nosh & Drash

Learn more about the process of developing our programming alongside our teens.

Nosh & Drash

This weekly experience meets on Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m., and begins with dinner.

Teens help set the agenda for the year’s programming.


8th – 12th graders have a chance to:

  • Hang out with their friends and meet new ones
  • Ask their questions in a supportive community
  • Engage in the social action of tikkun olam, repairing the world, while making an impact on their community
  • Discuss current events through the lenses of Jewish texts and ideas
  • Examine their own worldview and Jewish identity in a way that is both authentically Jewish and uniquely theirs
  • Enrich their lives and their connections to Judaism and the Jewish community
  • Practice the critical thinking skills that will help them think independently in high school, college, and beyond
  • Demonstrate the dedication, leadership, life balance, and true involvement which colleges look favorably upon for admissions

Click for the schedule

Register now

Director: Dr. Melissa Ser, 248-626-2153

Social Justice & Advocacy for Teens

Throughout the year, Jewish teens will be introduced, in a hands-on manner, to the complexities of Social Justice in the Detroit area, including but not limited to diversity and challenges along racial, economic, environmental, safety, gender, and religious lines. Nosh & Drash students will all participate in this amazing Social Justice and Advocacy program with other Jewish teens throughout the community during the year, which includes three field trips (two during the time of N&D, one on a Sunday afternoon). Students who are not enrolled in Nosh & Drash may register for the Social Justice & Advocacy component only.

The field trips and special programs, outside of our class time, are subsidized by a grant from the Schulman Millenium Fund.

Dates and Times (all sessions meet from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and begin with dinner)

November 4: What are Civil Rights?
November 11: Social Justice & Race
November 16: Havdalah/Campfire (JCC)
November 18: Social Justice and Gender
November 25: Social Justice and Economics (Food Security 1)
December 2: Social Justice and Economics (Food Security 2)
December 9: Social Justice and Guns
December 16:Social Justice: Being a Light Unto the Nations
January 5: Wright Museum & Bus Tour of Detroit with Segregation Wall (12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
February 3: Program on Advocacy at Holocaust Memorial Center
February 24: Advocacy Prep
March 2: Advocacy Evening with government Staff/Representatives

Register at

Dual Enrollment Hebrew Program

Earn high school and college credit simultaneously by taking Hebrew on Sunday evenings (5 to 7 p.m.) at Adat Shalom Synagogue. This fully accredited program will give you your high school language credits as well as transferable college credits.

Classes meet from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sundays, beginning on September 16, and students are also required to complete additional work online each week. Oakland county high schools contribute to some of the cost of tuition each semester, and limited additional scholarship is available.

Earn up to 1.0 high school and 6 college credits per year. All information and forms can be found here. Contact Dr. Melissa Ser for more information, or call 248-626-2153.

Madrichim Teen Leadership Program

Be a classroom assistant, and learn what it means to become a Jewish leader through our program of training and practical application. You will be assigned to a classroom or a student as a buddy, and take part in regular training during school hours. Contact Jodi Gross for more information on applying to become a madrich. Madrichim may work on Sundays and/or Wednesdays. Eighth graders may receive volunteer hours; high schoolers may opt for volunteer hours, a stipend, or a combination of the two. Space is limited. This program is a blend of formal training and real-life experience, and is supervised by both Jodi Gross and Melissa Ser.

Teen Volunteer Corps

Service learning at its finest. Teens develop programming and put it into action through social action. Projects are approximately twice monthly, and teens meet regularly with Jodi Gross to plan and learn. The Teen Volunteer Corps puts Jewish values into everyday life and empowers teens to be involved and impact the Jewish community and Metro Detroit. A teen leadership board creates, recruits volunteers, and leads projects. Teen Volunteer Corps combines learning with direct hands-on involvement focused on:

  • Jewish social and ethical issues
  • Social Action
  • Volunteering
  • Friendship & Fun
  • Expanded Horizons

Other volunteer opportunities include Tech Connect, being a teen madrich (classroom assistant), and community-wide events such as J-Serve and PeerCorps.

Jewish Teen Travel

Thanks to a generous donor family,  a 3-night, 4-day trip to another part of the country provides teens worthwhile opportunities to explore their Jewish identity and to foster their own relationships with one another and Adat Shalom’s professional leadership. In partnership with Nosh & Drash, participants attend a learning series prior to and following the trip. This series prepares teens for the trip and provides them opportunities to gather and debrief after the trip. In 2016-2017, 27 teens attended the trip to the Paper Clips Project in Whitwell, Tennessee. In 2017-2018, 27 teens attended the trip to Philadelphia. In 2018-2019, teens traveled to New York City. Our 2019-2020 trip announcement is coming soon!   Teen Engagement trips are led by Rabbi Rachel Shere and Jodi Gross.

General Teen Travel Goals:  

  • To engage in meaningful travel experiences, led by clergy and educators, that are rooted in Jewish tradition, history and values.
  • To have opportunities to meet and build relationships with teens from Adat Shalom and maintain those relationships long after the trip.
  • To meet and interact with Jewish teens living in other cities.
  • To empower teens with the knowledge that one person or one act can make a difference.