Informal Ed FAQ

Parents’ Frequently Asked Questions

What are the similarities and differences between the Jewish youth movements and the Jewish youth clubs?

Each youth movement or club has its own ideological position and/or religious belief.  Ideology and religious practice are shared with young people through the activities and by the leaders.  For example, some youth clubs/movements will have separate activities for girls and boys; some will share a pluralist perspective and some will wear a uniform at their meetings.  All have elements of peer leadership, enabling young people to have excellent role models that they can relate to, learn from and emulate.

All will deliver interesting, enjoyable and informative  informal Jewish education through group work, endeavoring to be young person centered and helping friendships to be forged.

All are led by volunteers and professionals, people who are committed to creating informal Jewish educational experiences that are fantastic fun as well as offering opportunities for young people to engage with the Jewish community.

How can my child get involved in being a leader?

There are a number of ways in which leadership opportunities are open to young Jewish people.  Contact the individual youth club or youth movement and ask for further information regarding leadership (hadracha) courses and leadership opportunities.

Is there a cost involved in sending my child to an activity?

There generally is a cost to participating in an activity.  Contact the individual youth movement or youth club regarding costs and possible financial assistance if this is an issue for you. The Jewish community is deeply committed to its youth and bursaries are available for a number of activities.  Financial matters are dealt with sensitively and discreetly, giving access to all young Jewish people to participate in informal Jewish education activities.  Bursaries are usually means tested and given via youth movements and youth clubs.

Do different Jewish youth organisations have different Jewish practices?

The British Jewish community is diverse and vibrant.  Jewish youth provision mirrors that exciting diversity.  There are youth activities on offer for those who affiliate to one part of the community as well as to those who have no affiliation at all but are interested in participating in fun Jewish activity.   Contact the individual youth organisation to find the movement or club that feels most comfortable for you and your child’s religious affiliation and interest.

Young people’s Frequently Asked Questions

What type of activities are on offer?

There are a huge variety of different activities on offer.  Sports, discussions, games, presenters, drama, art, film making, music… But most importantly, youth leaders throughout the community are brilliant at listening to young people.  So if there is a type of activity that you would really like to happen, discuss it with the youth movement or youth club leaders and they can help to make your dream activity* happen. (*if your dream activity involves unicorns/helicopters/Hollywood celebrities – you might need to compromise a little : )  but creative and fantastic ideas are always welcome!)

Will I make new friends?

Yes.  An important part of going to a Jewish activity is about the friends that you will make.  Madrichim (youth leaders) are always with you to help you to meet new people and give you confidence in making new friends if you need help with that.  Equally, if you decide to go to a peer led youth activity, there will be other young people of your age at that activity, and they will all be looking to meet new people too. if you are open to new things and are friendly and considerate to the new people you meet,  making new friends is inevitable!

Do I have to do activities that I don’t want to do?

Youth workers and madrichim will always encourage you to join in with activities and try things that are new to you.  However, you will never be forced into doing something that you absolutely do not want to do.  There are many opportunities for you to learn new skills, try new activities and have fantastic experiences.

How can I get involved in being a leader?

Each youth organisation actively encourages new leadership.  If you are interested in taking on a leadership role, speak to the Youth Worker/madrichim and find out about the training opportunities that are available to you.  Learning how to be a leader and then taking on leadership responsibilities will have a positive impact on your future and you will inevitable make new friends and have a great time too.

What now?

Have a look at the Find an Activity page on this site.  There are weekly activities, residential activities, holiday schemes, trips and tours. Have a look at what is near to you, contact the organisation and jump right in!