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JTFN Summit 2019 Reflections: Rachel

By, Rachel Dubowe, Experiential Educator, Builders of Jewish Education

I wanted to go to the JTFN Summit because I work in an environment that thrives on the ever-changing nature of teens and we are constantly searching for new pathways to engage them in the Jewish world around us. Teen philanthropy is one of these pathways. JTFN works to support the constantly growing field of Jewish teen philanthropy and I was excited to learn what was next from their perspective.

Attending this summit was a breath of fresh air. It spoke to my values as an inclusive educator as there were fidgets on every table and healthy conversations surrounded these fidgets all weekend. It reminded me that there is a significant population working to figure out how to help teens be their best Jewish selves and is willing to do whatever it takes to do so.  We had conversations that were familiar and conversations that challenged us. We talked about privilege, our tragedies, played outside in the sunshine and learned from teens themselves.

Rachel on a site visit at Urban Adamah in Berkeley, CA

When given the proper environment, tools and teachers we can all thrive and that’s exactly what we did. I walked out of the JTFN Summit with new knowledge and connections that will help further my work in experiential education.

Growing up in Southern California, Rachel was raised with a love of Jewish experiential learning and sunshine. She is a proud product of NFTY SOCAL and credits a huge part of her Jewish identity to URJ Kutz Camp and URJ Camp Newman where she spent significant time as a participant and senior staff member. Rachel graduated from UC Davis with a B.S in Human Development and went on to study at the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College where she received her Masters in Jewish Education. Rachel currently works in Los Angeles for the BJE (Builders of Jewish Education) as their Experiential Educator.