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Young Israel Youth Department

At the Young Israel of West Hartford, we strive to cultivate age appropriate programs that both engage our youth in meaningful religious experiences and create a fun community atmosphere around our synagogue.


Weekly Shabbat Morning Programs:

Groups meet each Shabbat from 10:15 am-11:15 am downstairs at Young Israel of West Hartford.


Junior Groups (<5 years old)

Children five years and younger are invited to participate in our interactive Shabbat morning groups. The morning program is led by Morah Becca Maurer and two trained teenagers and incorporates a regular routine of tefilot (prayers), songs, fun activities and stories.


Junior Congregation (1st-5th Grade)

Children in grades 1st through 5th are invited to lead and take on various roles in Shabbat Morning davening. There is a focus on Tefilah (prayer) and parsha. This program is led by a series of trained teenagers and our talented youth professional.


Monthly Programs:


Tot Shabbat (<5 years old)

Meets on the first Shabbat of the month and starts at 10:30-11:15.

Tot Shabbat provides a warm, fun-filled Shabbat experience for young children with their parents led by a rotation of mothers from the congregation. The morning encompasses playtime and circle time which includes davening, singing, parasha and story time followed by a special Shabbat treat.


Mussaf&Munch (6th-11th Grade)

Beginning right after the Haftorah in the main minyan, our teens break away to have their own teen-led mussaf service and share a dvar torah by one of their peers. Of course, Mussaf is always followed by a MUNCH: a delicious Kiddush with chulent, kugel, chips and soda….we think you get the idea.


YIWH Kidz Klub (K - 6th Grade  )

Once a month, join friends for a fun filled good ol’ time. Activities are geared for children K through 6th grade. Join us for a Top Chef Competition or a Bowling Extravaganza and many other awesome events!




Dor L’Dor: Family Learning Program

During the winter months, join for an hour of study with your child/ren or grand/ren. Bring something to learn or explore our library of family learning options. Each session is followed by exciting food and awesome prizes.


Hebrew Immersion Club

Run in partnership with our community Israeli emissary, children are immersed in a fun and exciting all Hebrew atmosphere with their peers as they play games and do activities all while practicing and perfecting their Hebrew.


Young Israel Youth Leadership Experience (9th-12th grade)

As young adults, our teens already have the opportunity to be leaders in their schools, shuls and homes. Our goal is to help realize that leadership capacity by both developing leadership skills and providing a living laboratory to put those techniques into practice. The program will be run by Rabbi Tuvia Brander, Rebbitzen Miriam Brander and Juanita Moss. The Young Israel Teen Leadership Experience comes with a stipend both for the groups as well as the sessions.

Young Israel Bat Mitzvah Program

Under the guidance of our wonderful Rebbetzin, Miriam Brander, young women are invited to explore what it means to become a bat mitzvah and become part of a community. Through text based learning, hands on experiences and a host of informal educational experiences, our young women learn about the themes of Tefilah (prayer), Limmud Torah (Torah study), Chesed (kindness) and Tzedakah (charity).

For more information about these or any other Young Israel Youth Department Programs, please feel free to contact Shayne Kesler at or Rabbi Tuvia Brander at

Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784