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.

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 6:00 to 8:00 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

Youth and Education Calendar for 2019-2020

Director: Dr. Melissa Ser, 248.626.2153


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 Sunday, September 8, 2019, 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. 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/a. 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. January 30-February 2, 2020 Rabbi Rachel Shere, Jodi Gross, Dr. Melissa Ser and Michael Wolf will be leading a group of teens on a trip to explore Atlanta.

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.