JLI In the News

Teens Take on Moral Dilemmas
Posted Monday, Nov 7th, 2011

Beginning this week, teenagers around the world will grapple with headlining news stories and real life moral dilemmas.

"If you are interested in G-d's guidance in everyday situations, then I recommend you stick around," advised 16-year old JLI Teens alum, Ethan Gadler.

He addressed twenty high school peers in a crowded sukkah in Melbourne, Australia during the JLI Teens annual BBQ and kick-off.

Beginning this week, Jewish teenagers around the world will grapple with headlining news stories and real life moral dilemmas through a course offered by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) Teens Division called Life on the Line.

The six-week series challenges Jewish teenagers to think about hot-button topics such as suicide, organ donations, drug usage, and responsibility towards strangers. 

The course's relevant topics bring Judaism to life for teenagers. 

Rabbi Reuvi Cooper, an instructor in Melbourne, Australia, elaborates, "By debating topics on the forefront of the news - such as Gilad Shalit and hostage negotiations - teens learn how to think for themselves, draw conclusions, and ultimately make good decisions. During school, teens learn math and history but equally important is allowing teens to develop their own world view."

"The objective of the course is to bring Jewish teenagers to the realization that as Jews, we have a responsibility to live to a higher standard—to do the right thing, and take responsibility for themselves.

"Initially I was not sure if teens would go for heavy material like this. I considered hosting a Hebrew school refresher course, but discovered that high school students really want to learn, be challenged, and make their opinions heard."

JLI Teens comes at a critical juncture in a teen's life, providing real guidance on life's complex and moral challenges. International organizations such as BBYO, CTEENS, Habonim, and Bnei Akiva have consistently provided a social outlet for Jewish teens, but JLI Teens addresses an area that was lacking - practical Torah learning that could be applied to solve everyday problems. 

JLI Teens Program Director Gani Goodman shares her excitement, "JLI Teens raises the bar of Jewish extracurricular activities. We fuse academic excellence with a fun class experience that is challenging and meaningful."

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