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CenSyn Teens

After becoming B’nei Mitzvah, Central Synagogue teens remain committed and engaged in Jewish life through weekly programming, community service opportunities, study trips, and more.

Our goal is for teens to take pride in their Jewish identities and feel confident in their ability to articulate what their Judaism means to them. Through community building, classes, trips, and social justice, we work to ensure that all teens gain the tools to continue living Jewishly in the world after high school.

We know our teens lead busy, demanding lives. Our flexible options allow teens to stay connected to Central in ways that align with both their interests and their schedules. Please see below for more information about the ongoing opportunities offered to our teens.

Social Justice

Our teens are passionate about engaging in tikkun olam, or repairing the world. Through volunteer service opportunities, advocacy, and more, teens can focus on issues that matter to them and work to effect real change in their community.

  • Food Insecurity: Midnight Run

3-4 times a year, teens can make sandwiches, organize donations, and deliver supplies to unhoused members of our Midtown East community.

  • Climate Justice: Jewish Youth Climate Movement (JYCM)

Join other CenSyn Teens in the fight against climate change by attending workshops, educating others, and advocating for climate policy.

  • Immigration Reform Work

Teens can also get involved with Central’s work on immigration justice. Volunteer for the Homework Club at hotels housing asylum seekers or join the focus group of teens discussing immigration reform.

Have an idea?

If you’re passionate about a social justice issue our teens aren’t already involved in, let us know!

Tuesday Nights

Our teens meet on Tuesday nights for programming by age group:

8th and 9th Grade

Teens can choose to attend up to 2 or 4 Tuesdays a month, participating in any or all of the following rotating courses:

  • Civil Rights/Immigration Justice Trip Seminar
  • Jewish Cooking and Culture
  • Current Events
  • BBYO (Youth Group)

10th Grade

Our 10th grade year is framed around the idea, "Know where you come from to know where you are going.” Students have the opportunity to participate in a weekly confirmation program taught by Rabbi Ari Lorge and Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal, with guest visits from other Central clergy. Students explore Jewish texts and traditions, current events, Jewish history, and their own individual and communal identities. We focus on creating community as a class through our confirmation retreat in the fall and international trip in the spring. The year culminates in a Central tradition that is more than 170 years old, as students lead the Central Synagogue Shavuot Service, confirming their Jewish identity before the entire congregation."

11th and 12th Grade

High school Juniors and Seniors join us either once or twice a month to catch up with each other and discuss Jewish topics that feel relevant to them throughout the year.


Each year, CenSyn Teens in grades 8-12 are invited to embark on trips throughout the United States, Canada, and beyond. In addition to helping strengthen the relationships between our own teens, these powerful trips allow teens to experience and connect with Jewish communities—past and present—that differ from their own.

Grades 8 & 9: Civil Rights and Immigration Justice Study Trips

Alternating each year between our Civil Rights trip to Alabama and Georgia and our Immigration Justice trip to Arizona, our 8th and 9th grade study trips focus on exploring American and Jewish involvement in the movements that have shaped our country’s history. These trips offer first-hand encounters with speakers and activists, visits to museums and historical sites, and meaningful connections to Jewish texts and values.

In order to participate in the Civil Rights and Immigration Justice trips, 8th and 9th graders must be registered for Tuesday night classes and attend the corresponding trip seminar once a month.

Grade 10: Confirmation International Study

As part of Central’s confirmation program, our 10th grade students travel to a different city outside of the United States each year. Whether we visit Rome, Berlin, Lisbon, or Vienna, each of these cities have so much to offer in terms of their rich cultures, Jewish roots, and breathtaking scenery. One highlight of the confirmation trip is always meeting with other Jewish teens, deepening our connection to the global Jewish community.

In order to participate in the confirmation study trip, 10th graders must be registered for confirmation and attend weekly Tuesday classes.

Grades 11 & 12: Philadelphia and Montreal

Our oldest students visit Philadelphia and Montreal on alternating years. These weekend-long excursions allow teens to bond as a cohort, celebrate Shabbat together, and enjoy free time to explore a new city.

Grades 9-12: The Religious Action Center’s (RAC) L’taken Seminar

Every other year, CenSyn Teens are invited to Washington, D.C. to participate in the RAC’s weekend dedicated to civic action. The L’taken Seminar serves as an opportunity for CenSyn Teens to meet other Jewish high schoolers from across the country while learning about the U.S. legislative process. Programming includes discussion on current issues and policy, a visit to the Smithsonian and United States Holocaust Memorial museums, and even the chance to lobby our local representatives.

Teen Trips to Israel

Though trips to Israel are not part of our regularly scheduled teen programming, there are frequent opportunities to travel to Israel with Central, many of which include teens. Keep an eye out for these trips in emails from Central.


Central’s BBYO (youth group) chapter is part of the BBYO Manhattan Region. Our board of teen leaders plans and puts on bi-weekly programs that take place on Tuesday nights, Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoons on a rotating basis. In addition to participating in chapter programs, Central BBYO teens are also welcome to attend regional events where they’ll meet other BBYO teens from around the city. Leadership opportunities are always available and encouraged.

In order to participate in BBYO programs, 8-12th graders must be a member of BBYO. To become a member for a one-time fee of $249, click here.


CenSyn Teens who enjoy working with children can volunteer in an LCLJ classroom as Madrichim (Guides). Madrichim help educators create a positive learning experience for the students by working one-on-one or in small groups, reading stories, and helping out around the classroom. Madrichim serve as role models for the younger students while gaining valuable leadership skills. Teens are supported with frequent check-ins, quarterly group meetings, and the resources provided by their experienced educators.

Teen Choir

CenSyn Teens who are passionate about music and love to sing are encouraged to participate in our teen choir. To learn more, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

College Packages

One of our priorities at Central Synagogue is maintaining contact with our college-age members while they are away from home. Prior to Jewish holidays, we send out care packages with a variety of treats. In order to ensure that we’re reaching as many of our college-age members as possible, we send out a form to sign up for these packages every August. For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)