Chabad of Orange County, directed by Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, is gearing up for another exciting year engaging teens in positive activities and community volunteer work.
In recognition of the Teen Leadership Initiative, Chabad honored more than 50 teens from Orange County at a recent Teen Gala evening. More than 200 people attended the summer award ceremony held at the new Chabad Center in Monroe. Chabad’s Teen group is the largest Jewish teen network in Orange County.
The “Teen Leadership Initiative” offers local Jewish teens the opportunity to participate in a variety of community service events. Community service options include volunteering at Chabad’s Hebrew School, participating in the newly established Friendship Circle which services children with special needs, CTeen leadership and attending CTeen and CTeen Jr. programs.
The Teen Gala included speeches, recognitions and awards, candle-lit elegant dinner and desserts as well as a concert for the teens with singer/songwriter Duvy Burston, son or Rabbi Pesach and Chana.
Teen were awarded from Central Valley, Monroe, Goshen, Chester, Middletown, Washingtonville, Warwick and Cornwall.
“We are celebrating the impact and power of youth,” said Rabbi Pesach Burston.
“We are incredibly proud that over fifty teens are using their energy and time dedicated to community service and helping others,” added Chana Burston.
Sarah and Kaylah Favia, Tom Einav and Amir Mosker of Monroe shared their experiences volunteering for the Friendship Circle which serves local families with children with special needs. The Friendship Circle provides services and support for Jewish children and teens with special needs through the help of trained teen volunteers and professional therapists.
Evan Leeds of Chester and Dani Gold of Central Valley shared insights about the joys of volunteering at Chabad Hebrew School and attending CTeen events.
“CTeen has meant so many things to me over the last three years such as community, family, service, and pride. I get to hang out with my Jewish friends and do meaningful and fun activities,” Leeds said. “A weekly highlight for me is volunteering at Chabad Hebrew School. It’s really cool to be back as staff at the same place I attended as a student. Each week I have fun with the kids, helping them learn to read Hebrew, reading Jewish stories and playing sports outside.”
Isabella Hauck of Middletown reflected on the CTeen Eternal Flame Convention in Washington, D.C., which focused on Holocaust education and combating anti-Semitism.
“Visiting the Holocaust Museum made a strong impact on my Jewish identity and made me feel even more determined to stand proud as a Jew,” said Isabella Hauck of Middletown. “We have the responsibility to educate others so that these despicable and horrifying acts of violence never happen again.”
For more information on the Teen Leadership Initiative, log onto ChabadOrange.com, write email@example.com or call 845-782-2770.