Melbourne today is home to an increasingly diverse Jewish community. We are of numerous denominations, socio-economic, language and cultural backgrounds, and gender identities. This means that Melbourne’s young Jews connect to their own identities and to their community in many different ways.
It is UJEB’s mission to cater to this diversity. UJEB aims to provide a space where young Jewish people from all walks of life can feel welcome and comfortable. For UJEB, being inclusive is vital in ensuring that our community remains strong into the future.
Traditionally, UJEB has been known for its weekly Jewish education sessions in public schools. In recent years, however, a more holistic approach has evolved, broadening out to include programs tailored to all of the stages of a Jewish school student’s life. Participants enter these programs from both state schools and private schools. As UJEB parent and current Vice President, Gabi Crafti, puts it, UJEB today is “a Jewish educational institution that provides a wide range of programs for Jewish youth … across their student life journey.”
For primary students, UJEB runs the weekly “Jewish Life” program in 18 schools, as well as intensive Hebrew classes and after-school centres in Bentleigh and Caulfield North.
For high schoolers, UJEB facilitates Bar and Bat Mitzvah programs, a yearly camp, lunchtime “J-Lunch” sessions and an annual 6-week Israel trip which brings together Year 10 students from Victoria, NSW and WA.
This February, for the first time, UJEB sent 5 high school students to Denver, Colorado for the B’nai B’rith Youth Organisation (BBYO) International Convention. There they joined more than 4000 Jewish teens, educators and philanthropists from around the world, aiming to “declare to the world that it’s our generation’s turn to lead the way and tackle the biggest problems facing society today”. These students recently returned, eager to share what they learnt with their friends and the wider Jewish community.
These are just a few examples of the many ways in which UJEB provides fun and exciting learning and social opportunities for our young people. Stay tuned to hear about more exciting UJEB developments in 2019 and beyond!
For more information on UJEB programs visit www.ujeb.org.au or call 95236844.
The UJEB delegation on their way to the BBYO International Convention in February this year.
(L to R): Sebastian Inwentarz (Coordinator), Shimon Mitchell, Adam Levin, Noah Loven,
Joel Kaplan, Max Levy, Itzik Sztokman (Executive Principal, UJEB)