This September, Southern NCSY – the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union – launched an exclusive leadership program for high school teens known as Teen LLC: Leadership, Learning and Chesed. The program accepted 20 teens who spend two hours every other week learning the Torah sources on charity and meeting with representatives from various social service organizations at Yum Berry yogurt store.
The program was created thanks to the vision of Bari Girnun, Broward NCSY director. “I was looking for a way to engage motivated students and find them an outlet for their creativity and passion to change the world,” she said.
Todd Cohn, director of Southern NCSY, praised the program. “Mrs. Girnun’s Teen LLC program is a shining example of the work that NCSY does – educating teens about relevant issues in our community while training and inspiring them to become the future leaders of our schools, synagogues and other community institutions,” he said.
In the program’s first few weeks, the teens heard from a variety of social service organizations and non-profits, including the Chesed Avrohom Zev foundation, which helps support Torah education, the Wedding Gmach, which provides wedding dresses and supplies free of charge to poor couples and Chai Lifeline, which provides support to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
Organizations that will be represented in the future include Yacad, an agency of the OU dedicated to enhancing the life opportunities of individuals with disabilities, The Jewish National Fund, The Free Loan Society and Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options.
Gabrielle Sobol, a senior at Weinbaum Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton and a participant in Teen LLC, said that Teen LLC “showed me that just because I’m in high school doesn’t mean I can’t make a difference in the world.”
Southern NCSY services chapters in many areas in Florida including South Miami, Miami Beach, Greater Miami, Broward, South Palm Beach and Palm Beach. For more information visit: www.southernNCSY.com.
About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.
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