North Shore Teen Initiative recently traveled with their third contingent of North Shore teens to Washington D.C to participate in the Religious Action Center’s four-day L'Taken Social Justice Seminar. In January, 14 NSTI teens joined with 300 other high school students to learn social justice and advocacy skills.Every year, more than 2000 students, grades 9-12, travel from around the United States to Washington D.C. for the L'Taken Seminars. This interactive kallah (retreat) focuses on Jewish issues including civil rights, social and economic justice, religious liberty, Israel and more. Students learn about public policy issues from experts both inside and outside the Jewish community, how to get involved in politics, and tools to be an effective advocate. “After attending the L'Taken seminar in Washington D.C., I was truly able to revisit my passion for my Jewish identity,” said Trevor Brown, a junior at St. John’s Prep in Danvers.
“L’Taken was fantastic,” said Jenya Damsky, a senior at Marblehead High School. “I liked that we had the opportunity to explore D.C. and Georgetown. It was especially cool to visit the National Gallery of Art . . . and see the works by famous artists like Monet and Rembrandt. ”The retreat culminated in a chance to lobby on Capitol Hill for various issues chosen and researched by each group.“The RAC seminars are innovative and life-changing,” said NSTI Executive Director Adam Smith. “Teens feel like their voices are being heard. Learning how to talk about issues and to be an advocate with real tools to effect change is very powerful.” For more information on this and other NSTI programs visit www.nsteeninitiative.org, www.facebook.com/nsti18, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781.244.5544.
In the group photo above: NSTI teens on their way into lobby at Capitol Hill: (Row 1, l to r) Izaak Janock, Tyler Burdick (Marblehead), Natalie Mechanic (Middleton), Trevor Brown (Georgetown), Jessica Vogel, Sarah Grosz (Marblehead), Sarah Comins (Swampscott), Dylan Haarer, (Marblehead), Roie Shemesh (Danvers), Jenya Damsky (Marblehead), SMARTY YAiSH Youth Director Rachael Pass, Mara Khayter (Swampscott); (Row 2, l to r) Matt Scholnick, Dave Burdick, Matt Jepsky (Marblehead), NSTI Executive Director Adam Smith.