No Teen Stands Alone
Web site connects local teens to Israeli counterparts in need.
Teen2Teen Staff Writer
s 17-year-old Brett Kline of
Clarkston uploaded his photo
from the Jewish Federation
of Metropolitan Detroit's Teen Mission
to Israel 2008 into his $5 Caresquare, he
reflected on the impact of his action.
"After Teen Mission, when I hear about
Israel on the news, I know it is more than
just a story about a far-away land;' he
said. "Spending a month is Israel with my
fellow teens gave me an emotional con-
nection to what happens there, and I am
happy that the five dollars I donated will
help Israeli teens in need."
This past July, Kline traveled with 105
American teenagers across Israel and was
exposed to the country's intricate history,
magnificent beauty and rich culture, but
also, through volunteer work, to some of
the harsher realities that affect Israel, such
as homeless children.
The impact of that experience,
coupled with the desire to aid communi-
ties in need, led to the creation of the
Caresquares.org. Web site. Spearheaded
by Teen Mission alumni, Caresquares.org
takes fundraising into cyberspace.
The Web site itself is composed of 6,000
individual squares, each at the minimum
cost of $5. Donors can purchase squares
by text messaging the word TEEN to
90999, using a credit card on a secure
server or buying a coded cash card from
Teen Mission representatives. One hun-
dred percent of donations will benefit
Jewish Youth Awards
honor strong leaders.
Calling All Seniors
ational Council of Jewish
Women Greater Detroit Section
is seeking nominations for its
annual Jewish Youth Awards that honor
outstanding Jewish high school seniors
with strong leadership skills.
The competition is open only to high
school seniors, who must fulfill the follow-
• Submit a one-page typed essay on
"What experience has had the greatest
impact on your Jewish identity"
• Have a formal Jewish education (bar
or bat mitzvah, confirmed, consecrated or
currently enrolled in a congregation's high
• Be actively involved in the Jewish and
• Submit a signed letter of recommen-
dation from a person in authority at the
applicant's volunteering organization,
synagogue or temple.
• Submit a current photograph.
• Must be available to be interviewed
by a panel of judges on Sunday, March 22
and/or Sunday, March 29.
An application form with complete
details can be found at NCJWGDS.org . The
application and all supporting documen-
tation must be received by Monday, Feb. 2.
Awards include $2,500 for first place;
$1,500 for second place; $500 for third and
fourth place; and $250 for six honorable
The 10 finalists will be recognized at an
awards ceremony on Sunday, April 19.
Liz Leshman and Leslie Moskowitz are
Jewish Youth Awards co-chairs. ❑
Israeli organization aiding youth in dis-
tress, and 50 percent to local Detroit orga-
nizations accomplishing the same goal.
On Dec. 13, mission participants gath-
ered at the Jewish Community Center's
new teen center in West Bloomfield for the
Caresquares kickoff event. The program
involved two speakers. The first, an Israeli
named Jessica, had been homeless in Tel
Aviv for five years. She shared her harrow-
ing, yet inspirational story and explained
how Elem had provided the means and
support to get her off the streets. She
explained that there is still hope for the
more than 10,000 homeless Israelis, but
that they just the need extra support and
guidance that Elem provides.
The second speaker, Oakland County-
based Tamarack Camps director Jonah
Geller, reiterated the points made by
Jessica. He highlighted the needs in the
Detroit area and the importance of creat-
ing a community atmosphere. He stressed
the importance of reaching out to neigh-
bors and putting aside what he referred to
as the "WIIFM" phenomenon, or "What's
In It For Me?"
"Teen Mission was such a great experi-
ence and giving back to the Israeli and
Detroit communities is the least we can
do to show our appreciation;' said Jessica
Curhan, 17, of West Bloomfield.
For more information, visit
Allison Berman, 17, lives in Plymouth and
participated in the 2008 Teen Mission.
teen 2, teen
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