Gratz Innovates With New Programming For Jewish Teens

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gratz Innovates With New Programming For Jewish Teens

Melrose Park, May 22, 2017—The Jewish Community High School of Gratz College is launching two innovative new programs on Thursday nights this fall to engage Jewish teens through STEM and the arts: the Jewish Startup Workshop (JSW) and Jewish Creative Arts Program (JCAP).

JSW (Jewish Startup Workshop) a new weekly program for Jewish teens interested in social entrepreneurship and innovation. JSW is a great fit for teens who may have an idea for a startup, have thought about launching an app, and are ready to figure out how to impact the world in their own way—with a lens of Jewish ethics and values. Teens will work in teams to design innovative solutions to real-world problems through hands-on learning with social innovators, entrepreneurs, and STEM professionals in the Philadelphia area. JSW facilitators and coaches guide students through a lean startup process to develop their concepts and to design them using digital technology. Sessions take place weekly on Thursday evenings, 7-9 pm, from Fall-Spring at the Gratz College Mandell Campus in Melrose Park, PA. Jewish teens in grades 8-12, are invited to apply for the 2017-2018 cohort.

JCAP (Jewish Creative and Performing Arts) is also a new weekly program for creative Jewish 8-12th graders who are passionate about artistic expression in which teens can focus on music, drama and fine art (including a range of mediums and techniques). Teens will learn from professional Jewish artists while making connections to Jewish culture and identity through their chosen specialization. Faculty includes Deborah Baer Mozes (theater); Chana Rothman and Ken Ulansey (music); Marlene Adler, Karen Singer and Dvorah Horn-Greenberg (fine art). Sessions take place weekly on Thursday evenings, 7-9 pm, from Fall-Spring at the Gratz College Mandell Campus in Melrose Park, PA. Jewish teens in grades 8-12, are welcome to enroll.

"We are thrilled that JCHS is adding these new opportunities for Jewish teens on Thursday nights. Because we have communal funding for JCHS [from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia], we are committed to offering teens options that are substantially different than what synagogues generally offer,” Rabbi Erin Hirsh, Gratz College Interim President says. “In our Sunday and Tuesday weekly programs, for example, this includes five levels of Hebrew and college credit courses. Now we are adding JCAP and JSW on Thursday evenings. These are true magnet programs - designed to attract creative teens who love STEM, social innovation and the creative arts, but have never explored Jewish identity in those contexts. That's a gap because the world abounds with Jewish artists and STEM pioneers and creative problem solvers who explicitly understand their creative work as a dimension of their Jewishness. We hope teens who belong to synagogues will continue to come to JCHS, but these programs are also a great program to invite 'unaffiliated teens' to be part of."  

JSW and JCAP will complement JCHS’s existing weekly Sunday and Tuesday programs. Learn about them all at www.gratz.edu/JCHS. JCHS is generously sponsored by Gratz College and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

To apply or for more information contact:  Naomi Housman (nhousman@gratz.edu).
Learn more about all of Gratz’s teen programs -- JSW, the Jewish Community High School (JCHS) and Jewish Creative and Performing Arts (JCAP) -- at www.gratz.edu/JCHS.