Introducing Teen Reps on the Board

One of the greatest assets on the JTConnect Board of Directors is our teen representatives. They add an important voice to the table, working to shape and mold our efforts to connect teens to meaningful experiences grounded in Jewish learning and values. We are excited to welcome three exceptional teen representatives to the JTConnect board for the 2019-2020 school year. Each of these teens has distinguished themselves through their participation in JTConnect, involvement in the broader Jewish community and dedication to living a Jewish life. It is our pleasure to introduce you to Ryan, Zachary and Vered.

Ryan Howe is a senior at Hall High School. He is an active member of Congregation Beth Israel, where he works as an assistant teacher in their religious school and helps to lead Friday night services once a month. Ryan participated in L’Taken Seminar at the Religious Action Center, the legislative advocacy arm of the Union for Reform Judaism in Washington, DC where he learned about Jewish perspectives on contemporary U.S. policy issues and advocated with Connecticut congressional representatives. With the new collaboration between CBI, this past year was Ryan’s first year in JTConnect and he was very involved. He particularly enjoys the volunteering opportunities at JTConnect such as when he cooked dinner for Puerto Ricans displaced to Hartford after the hurricane and organized books for children in at-risk schools.

Zachary Sobel-Pressman is a senior at Hall High School and a graduate of Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford. He belongs to the Emanuel Synagogue and is an active member of the local BBYO chapter, serving as the Sgan (vice-president) of Nadav AZA. He has participated in JTConnect for the past three years, two of which he was a student in the Teen Leadership and Philanthropy Initiative (TLPI). Zach enjoyed learning about the Jewish philosophy, history, and methodology of philanthropy in terms of giving both money and time. He is excited to work with JTConnect this year to give time back to the organization he’s enjoyed being a part of so much.

Vered Wolpaw is a junior at Hall High School. She is on the board of the local USY chapter, an active participant in NCSY and a member of the Friendship Circle. A member of Young Israel of West Hartford, Vered leads youth programming on Shabbat mornings for the younger children. This summer she had an incredible experience traveling to Israel on Mach Hach Ba’Aretz exploring Israel with new and old friends! Vered has participated in JTConnect for two years and believes that the program has had a huge impact on her Jewish learning and connection to other Jewish teens. She is excited to join the JTConnect board and is especially interested in being involved on the education committee to work on planning classes that are intriguing, inspiring and educational.

JTConnect engages teens from across the Greater Hartford community in fun, interactive and thought-provoking educational and social experiences grounded in Jewish learning and values. JTConnect gives teens the opportunity to continue their Jewish education in compelling and meaningful ways. Together, teens examine religion, history and traditions through innovative, hands-on programming that includes classroom study, volunteer projects and special events.

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