This page has been created just for you, Jewish teens in the Greater Washington area. We know how much you have on your plates, so we want to make things as easy as possible for you. Below, you’ll find a listing of local events specifically for teens. In addition, our community is lucky enough to have so many different options and activities available through our youth movements, synagogues, and partner institutions. Anything that you’re looking for you can find in the Greater Washington Jewish community, from opportunities to get your SSL hours, to trips to Israel, to leadership training, to unlimited social opportunities.
Amazing experiences for Jewish teens are unlimited! Check out these different travel opportunities in North America, Israel, Europe, and countless other places around the world. Teen travel experiences give you the chance to see the world while connecting with other Jewish teens from across North America. Below, you’ll find just some of the travel options available to you. Contact them directly to learn more!
Israel Quest is a Jewish teen identity project of the United Jewish Endowment Fund, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and local congregations and regional youth organizations. Israel Quest provides subsidies to teens in 9th–12th grades for qualifying Israel trips. Learn more about the program and funding guidelines. For more information, contact us at 301-230-7200 or IsraelQuest@shalomdc.org.
Alexander Muss High School in Israel (Summer Program)
The Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) provides a 6 week pluralistic, academic adventure in Israel during the summer. Follow in the footsteps of more than 20,000 alumni and discover Israel through an inspiring, life-changing experience. The whole country will become your classroom. You will be challenged to live outside of books and in the presence of history by studying at the actual sites where history took place!
American Jewish Society for Service
With AJSS, you’ll spend your summer volunteering for organizations that provide essential social services while living in and exploring a part of the U.S. that’s completely foreign to you. During the week, you’ll get your hands dirty – hammering, painting, shoveling, distributing food – whatever we can do to help people in need. On the weekends, you’ll either travel to nearby cities or enjoy a weekend at “home” to explore your local surroundings. Join AJSS and be part of our 60+ year history of helping communities across the nation. On AJSS you’ll change lives. Start with yours.
Aryeh offers a variety of summer travel programs for teens, including Aryeh America Western US/National Parks Summer Program, Aryeh Elite Israel Summer Program, and Aryeh United Northwest Integrated Trip for Special Needs and Mainstream Teens. Special needs inclusive options are available.
BBYO Passport is the leader in travel for Jewish teens and their families. Journey with us to Israel or explore a world of meaningful travel opportunities on five continents. All of our programs embrace pluralistic Jewish values and provide opportunities for inspiration, connection, and community. Although every program is different, they all share the same core elements – active touring, cross-cultural interactions, and new friendships with fellow Jewish teens of all backgrounds and from around the world.
Big Idea – International Tech Summer Camp
BIG IDEA is an international summer camp in Israel focusing on technology, Israeli innovations, and leadership. A community of kids and teens ages 7-18, from Israel and over 30 different countries meet every summer in a beautiful location on Mount Carmel. Over a 2 week session, campers have a hands-on experience in digital arts, web designing, computer programming, fashion design, game productions, robotics, app development and many more, while also exploring Israeli innovation. Mix it up with fun outdoor activities, swimming pool and wave surfing, martial arts and stage arts tracks!
Bnei Akiva offers a range of summer programs, including Israel travel opportunities, travel camps that visit cities and national parks across the United States and Canada, and Yachad, an inclusion program at Camp Moshava. Special needs inclusive options are available.
Brandeis offers outstanding residential experiences for exceptional high school students from around the world. These programs provide students with the opportunity to explore academic and artistic pursuits with accomplished Brandeis University faculty who share the commitment to improving the world. The learning environment is rich with challenge and inspiration, where self-expression is encouraged and welcomed.
CTeen Heritage Quest
The CTeen Heritage Quest is a unique 22-day trip to Poland and Israel that will give teens a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the roots of their Jewish heritage at the source. After a 6-day stay in Poland, the group will travel to Israel and discover the significance of our Jewish homeland and contemporary Jewish life. Teens will learn and absorb an authentic Jewish approach to tragedy, loss, and the keys to emerging from hardship with a stronger and bolder allegiance to our Jewish future, as well as strengthen their commitment to live as proud Jews. CTeen is a program of Chabad.
Etgar 36 is not your typical summer Jewish teen tour; it is a journey in every sense of the word. Travel across America to stand where history happened and meet with people who made it. Discuss, debate, learn about, and get involved in issues and politics. Become inspired and empowered to discover how you can change the world. See the sights, hear the sounds, eat the food and talk with the people that make each city unique. Make lifelong friends with the other Jewish teens from all over America.
NCSY offers incredible summer options to fit every need. From hiking and volunteering in Israel to sports camps in the United States and journeys to the heart of Eastern Europe, everyone, no matter what your Jewish background is, can find an NCSY summer experience that will change their lives.
NFTY summer programs give you the opportunity to see the world while meeting and connecting with Jewish peers from across North America. Experience Israel from top to bottom, seeing Jewish history, modern life, and natural wonders. You can also choose to add a week in Europe to your Israel experience. NFTY offers a diverse, meaningful summer experience for teens who are looking to have fun and connect with the Jewish people.
URJ Mitzvah Corps
URJ Mitzvah Corps provides teens with the opportunity to explore Israel, North America, or Central America while participating in meaningful service projects. You will have the opportunity to volunteer wherever you go, making a direct impact on countless people. Choose between Israel, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, the Pacific Northwest, and other exciting locations where you’ll make a difference while making amazing memories with your new friends.
USY summer programs give you the chance to choose your own adventure. Options include Eastern Europe, Israel adventures, meaningful and transformative explorations of Poland, social action trips, and North American road trips that give you the chance to see the East Coast and Pacific Northwest. Each program provides a unique experience, giving you the chance to grow and change while having the time of your life!
Young Judaea offers summer trips to Israel that allow you to see Israel up-close and personal. From social entrepreneurship and volunteer opportunities to chances to see the natural and man-made beauty of Israel, you’ll develop a personal connection to the country and people, as well as to your peers.
BBYO is the leading pluralistic teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For 90 years, BBYO has provided exceptional identity enrichment and leadership development experiences for hundreds of thousands of Jewish teens.
Bnei Akiva is the world’s largest religious Zionist youth movement, active across the globe, with over 100,000 members. Bnei Akiva promotes aliyah, love of the Jewish people and commitment to the State of Israel, based on the principles of Torah v’Avodah.
Founded in 1935, Habonim Dror (the Builders of Freedom) is a Progressive Labor Zionist Youth movement whose mission is to build a personal bond and commitment between North American Jewish youth and the State of Israel, and to create Jewish leaders who will actualize the principles of social justice, equality, peace and coexistence in Israel and North America.
Jewish Teen Leadership Institue (JTLI)
JTLI is a one-year program for 10th-12th graders to explore leadership and what it means to be a leader in all fields and in all walks of life–all from a Jewish perspective.
NCSY is committed to providing a safe space where teens can celebrate their Jewish heritage; embrace Torah and Tradition; develop a positive Jewish identity, acquire invaluable leadership skills, connect with dedicated Jewish role models, and learn to live passionately Jewish lives. NCSY is affiliated with the Orthodox Union.
NFTY is a movement that builds strong, welcoming, inspired communities through teen-powered engagement. Together, we pursue tikkun olam, personal growth, youth empowerment, and deep connections, all rooted in Reform Judaism.
Shoresh Hebrew High School
Shoresh Hebrew High School is a unique Jewish studies program for post-Bnai Mitzvah students attending secular schools in the Greater Washington area. Shoresh meets at the JCCGW on Sunday 6-9pm.
Tzofim is the Israeli Scouts youth movement, a unique opportunity to take part in an all-Hebrew teen movement. Shevet Gilad is here to unite the large Israeli and Jewish community in the Greater Washington area. Our mission is to strengthen the Jewish and Israeli identity of the kids in the program. We do our best to give them a sense of belonging to the community here in America, and back in Israel.
USY inspires Jewish youth to explore, celebrate, and practice ethical values, Jewish Living, Zionism and community responsibility based on the ideology of the Conservative Movement.
Yiddish Book Center
The Great Jewish Books Summer Program invites rising high school juniors and seniors for an exciting week of intensive literary discussion. Students will read, argue about, and fall in love with enduring works of modern Jewish literature, and consider how the ideas they encounter affect the opportunities and challenges they face today. Participants study with respected literary scholars, meet prominent contemporary authors, and connect with other teens from across the country.
From the moment of diagnosis or trauma, Chai Lifeline’s professionals and trained, compassionate volunteers step in to help restore equilibrium and bring joy and hope back into lives devastated by medical crises and illness. With their visits and personal contacts, Chai Lifeline’s Big Brothers and Sisters add stability and structure to lives upended by illness.
Friendship Circle strives to provide every child with special needs in Montgomery County and D.C., the friendship, inclusion and emotional support that they deserve. The program inspires and enriches its network of volunteers with the personal growth and fulfillment derived from selfless giving.
Horizon Day Camp and Horizon on Wheels
Horizon Day Camp is a full-summer day camp for children with cancer and their siblings, provided completely free of charge. Horizon on Wheels brings hours of Horizon fun and excitement directly to children undergoing treatment in Hematology/Oncology units of participating hospitals. Horizon on Wheels volunteers provide a playful, child-friendly program, which transforms their day from tears and sadness to smiles and laughter.
JCRC Student to Student
Student to Student is a high school peer education program striving to reduce prejudice and bigotry. The program brings together Jewish high school students from different backgrounds, trains them to talk about their lives as Jewish teens, and facilitates discussions in public and private schools in an effort to dismantle anti-Semitism and put a human face to Judaism.
JCRC Israel Engagement Fellowship
Explore the trends on college campuses and how Israel fits into broader conversations. Participate in hands-on activities, learn the importance of building allies and coalitions to impact change, and gain dialogue skills while practicing active listening. Graduate with the knowledge, experience, and confidence to engage with and advocate for Israel in a meaningful way on college campuses and beyond.
Operation Understanding DC (OUDC)
Operation Understanding DC’s mission is to build a generation of African American and Jewish community leaders who promote respect, understanding and cooperation while working to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.
Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom Teen Chapters
The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® is a Northern American movement of Muslim and Jewish teen girls fostering strong friendships that inspire a commitment to protect one another and fight against hatred. The teen chapters lead the way by establishing friendships, committing to social justice, and building their communities.
Tivnu: Building Justice
Tivnu acts from the conviction that housing is a human right as well as a human need. The Tivnu Gap Year is nine months of hands-on Jewish social justice engagement. Tivnu and USY organize a two week summer program teaming up with a “homeless village” building tiny houses.
Tzedek America transforms lives, strengthens Jewish identity, and changes the world through immersive social justice-oriented experiences. Programs include national and international service-learning trips for ages 12+, overnight social justice summer camp program for ages 14-18, Bar and Bat Mitzvah project missions for 12 and 13 year olds and a gap year program.