by Jennifer Finkel
Teen "tribe" of future leaders learns about behind-the-scenes Detroit.
e are a Tribe. We are Passionate. We
are NEXT. Are you?"
These words are printed on the Back-
Stage Pass (BSP) sweatshirts. They signify what the
Tribe: It is a tribe because we are a cohort of
young people who share similar interests and goals,
yet have different stories and opinions. Passionate:
It is passionate because everyone in the tribe loves
the city of Detroit and yearns to remain a part of
and improve our community. Next: This signifies
training the next generation of leaders. Are you? It
asks this question because the job of BackStage Pass
is not only to educate those who are a part of it, but
also to educate those in the community.
BackStage Pass' mission is to educate a select
group of Jewish teens and provide them with the
skills necessary to be the next generation of Jewish
leaders. The program is sponsored by Communi-
tyNEXT, which is a part of the Jewish Federation of
The tribe will learn about Detroit and what goes
on within and about its borders. It will provide these
teens the inside scoop, a behind-the-scenes look into
the city. It is a four-year program, beginning in the
junior year of high school and continuing through
a final internship in the sophomore
year of college. The goal is to edu-
cate the tribe (and tribes to follow)
so they may educate others about
the many opportunities that exist in
Many of us have gone to a Ti-
gers' game or to the Detroit Insti-
tute of Arts, but what do we know
about the work that goes on behind
the scenes at these venues? What do
we know about the business sides
of them? What do we really know
continued from page
about the city we reference when we are asked,
"Where do you live?" That is the job of BSP.
Twenty-one Jewish teenagers representing a di-
verse group of schools and synagogues were accept-
ed into the program after going through an applica-
tion process and an interview. These teenagers plus
three staff members kicked off the first BSP class
Above: BSPers perform a skit:
Maude Etkin and Eli Suds,
both of Bloomfield Hills, Zach
on Jan. 22 by spending a night at the Bittker
BBYO Conference Center in Ortonville. Activi-
ties included singing, brainstorming and getting to
know more about the other members of the group.
"At Bittker, we were introduced to what we were
going to do for the next four years," said David
Weinfeld, 16, of Farmington Hills, a Frankel Jew-
ish Academy student. "It got us all excited for this
The next step was a strategic planning ses-
sion in February. At this meeting, ideas discussed
during the overnight were elaborated upon, and
brainstorming helped determine how things can
be done and what can get the word out. Also dis-
cussed were what type of focus the tribe wants to
have and what its goals are.
"The strategic planning opened my eyes to all
the different ways we can improve Detroit," said
Michelle Gooel, 16, of West Bloomfield, who at-
tends West Bloomfield High School.
The next program will include a "backstage
pass" to the local film industry. The tribe will be
taken behind the scenes at the end of April.
This is only the beginning for BSP. There will
be so much more to report on as this group learns
and explores its potential along with the potential
of our city, Detroit. I have the pleasure of being
part of this tribe, and I promise you, we will be
something to keep your eye on. We are BackStage
Pass. Are you? I }
Neistein, West Bloomfield,
David Weinfeld and Anna
Rubin, both of Farmington
Jennifer Finkel, 16, is a junior at West
Bloomfield High School.
Left: BSPers get to know each
For more information, visit www.backstagepassmi.com
other by untangling them-
or e-mail coordinator Josh Goldberg at
selves during an icebreaker.
teen2teen staff •
hotline: (248) 351-5144 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporters I Chavivah Bluth, Molly Grossman, Elizabeth Kirshner, Hannah Korelitz, Avi Mendelson, Avielle Movsas, Jamie Rashty, Stepha-
Right: Veteran Dave Dombey shows
nie Schulman (Akiva Hebrew Day School, Southfield); Yona Isaacs, Gabriella Ring, Molly Rott, Claire Sinai (Berkley); Nechama Tawil (Beth
war mementos to students
Jacob, Oak Park); Madeleine Gonte (Birmingham Groves); Rachel Gorosh, Joanna Loney, Emily Schottenfels, Mara Stein. Rachael Vettese,
Sara Berlin and Ari Chesterman.
Zussman (Detroit Country Day, Beverly Hills); Jillian Apel, Tamar Brown, Arica Cykiert, Abbie Ginis, Polina Fradkin, Emily Goodman, Helene
Rachel Wein (Bloomfield Hills Andover); Abby Hyman (Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood); Mari Cohen (Community, Ann Arbor); Emily
Glickman, Rachel Goutman, Heather Grossman, Jessica Kahn, Rachel Klein, Gideon Levinson, Noam Saper, Talia Schechet, Lexi Smith,
Zoe Soble, Maddy Soltz. Sara Weinfeld, Samantha Zwick (Frankel Jewish Academy, West Bloomfield); Rachel Hollander, An Well (Harrison,
shared with many more people
because we did the videos."
As members of the corn-
munity, students were able to
broaden their horizons and
meet people who they may have never gotten to meet otherwise. The vet-
erans were wonderful to work with, and brightened the
nights of the students in Hebrew high school.
"Our concept of l'dor v'dor (from generation to genera-
tion) was achieved," said Nicole Jahr, Beth Shalom direc-
tor of education. !
Molly Rott, 16, is a junior at Berkley High School.
TT4 teen2teen April 14 . 2011
Farmington Hills); Daniel Chandross, Jillian Goldstone (Hillel, Farmington Hills); Mayer Schneider (home schooled); Harriet Cooper
(Milford); Rachel Berlin, Sam Gringlas, Elie Neuman, Nate Strauss (North Farmington); Rob Pasick (Novi); Jordana Hoffman (Oakland
Earlyl College, Farmington Hills); Lily Grier, Liza Kohlenberg (Orchard Lake Middle, West Bloomfield); Batsheva Honig (Walled Lake
Northern);Liz Nagle (Walled Lake Western); Jennifer Finkel, Abigail Jankelovitz, Heather Rosenbaum (West Bloomfield); Liza Kohlenberg
(West Bloomfield Orchard Lake Middle School); Mackenzie Coden (West Bloomfield Walnut Creek)
Photographers Jessica Avery Polk (Frankel), Colton Graub (Cranbrook-Kingswood )
Chief Operating Officer I F. Kevin Browett
Executive Editor I Keri Guten Cohen
Creative Director Deborah Schultz
of Metropolitan Detroit
IT Director I Deanna Spivey
Teen Consultant I Jon Layne
Supported by a generous grant from
the Stephen H. Schulman Millennium Fund.
Jewish Renaissance Media publication © 2010