At Am Shalom, we believe that our youth are a critical part of everything that we do! There are so many options available for youth of all ages. Browse through our events on the left and find something that interests you. Please contact Matthew Altman, Director of Youth Programming, for more information.
We have many key focus areas - click on any of the following to learn more:
- 2nd-6th Grade Programming: Events for our 2nd - 6th graders!
- AShTY: Our High School Youth Group for 9th - 12th graders
- JAmSY: Our Youth Group for 7th and 8th graders
- Madrichim: Our Teacher's Aids for Religious and Hebrew School
- Youth Social Action: Different projects for the kids of Am Shalom to get involved with Tikkun Olam.
- Drop-In: Right before Hebrew School, when students can come in, buy food, hang with friends, and win contests!
"Like" our Facebook page, "Am Shalom Youth Programmimg" for all the latest information about upcoming events, photos of our youth in action, and Am Shalom happenings!
Recently, we hosted Kolbo: A large scale NFTY event where over 120 teens stayed at Am Shalom for the weekend and learned about social action, held elections, and more! You can read more about it here: NFTY Kolbo @ Am Shalom
Our Youth Groups:
AShTY - Am Shalom Temple Youth, a NFTY-CAR (North American Federation of Temple Youth- Chicago Area Region)- affiliated high school group led by the youth, for the youth! AShTY-ites in grades 9 through 12 attend NFTY retreats with other Jewish teens from all over North America, create social action projects to fulfill their passions, explore their Jewish identities, form life-long friendships, and have a ton of fun.
JAmSY - Junior Am Shalom Youth, an exciting, social group for Am Shalom's 7th and 8th graders. JAmSY-ites participate in fun events all over the Chicagoland area and are even invited to attend NFTY's JYG (Junior Youth Group) Kallah with other 7th and 8th graders from all over the midwest for a weekend in the winter!
Gesher, meaning "bridge" in Hebrew, is Am Shalom's group for 5th and 6th graders, who are bridging into their teen years! Gesher kids nosh and schmooze at "drop-in" before Hebrew school, hang out at our awesome events all over Chicago and the North Shore, and form great friendships.
Rishonim, meaning "the first" in Hebrew, is the beginning of each Am Shalom kid's amazing youth group journey! Rishonim 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders nosh and schmooze at "drop-in" before Hebrew school with Gesher kids, play and make friends at both our kid-only and family-oriented events, and have fun!
Our Awesome Youth Programming Team:
Matthew Altman is our full-time Director of Youth Programming. Matthew loves being at Am Shalom, where he feels right at home, whether its teaching Hebrew School, making announcements on Sunday School, or running a chocolate seder - as long as its with Am Shalom's amazing kids! Matthew lives in Chicago right near Wrigley Field with his wife, Camila Altman. Prior to Am Shalom, Matthew worked in college admissions, for the Obama campaign, and as an executive assistant. He also graduated from Northwestern in 2010 with a degree in communication studies, where he was heavily involved with Hillel, Chabad, and AEPi. Growing up in Maryland, right outside Washington D.C., Matthew attended the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, where he graduated in 2006. He has been involved with the Jewish community his entire life, and is thrilled to be continuing to follow his pasison as part of the Am Shalom team.
Kadi House is our full time Youth Programming Advisor, Hebrew School Teacher, Sunday School substitute, and musician extraordinare! She brings her charming personality, California spirit, and musical talents to our Youth Programming team. The kids have come to love her and her charming personality, and the great new ideas she brings to the team!
Rabbi Phyllis Sommer is Am Shalom's Director of Congregational Learning. Rabbi Phyllis is passionate about Jewish life and learning... and baking... and technology... and reading... and quilting... and posting regular (!) updates on Facebook... and pretty much everything! She spends part of every summer on faculty at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute, where she also leads a well-attended spring quilting retreat for adults. Rabbi Phyllis and her husband, Rabbi Michael Sommer, are the proud and loving (if sometimes harried) parents of four amazing children - David, Samuel Asher z"l, sister Yael, and Solly.