Enroll Today: Kesher Cafe Uses Teen-Led Ted Talk Format

For Jewish high school juniors and seniors, Kesher Café is an opportunity to engage in enlightening, informal talks about Judaism with local teens. It’s not traditional program in a classroom with slideshows, power points or other bells and whistles.

Now in its second year, the Jewish Community Center’s Assistant Director of Youth Services Mike Steklof will ensure that the program, which meets Sundays from 12-1 p.m. at Panera Bread, 1801 Rudy Lane, are thought-provoking and engaging Participants will be asked to make presentations for their fellow peers throughout the year. There will also be guest speakers from the Jewish community, but mostly, it will be teens leading discussions and talking about issues that interest them from a Jewish perspective. The conversations will include controversial topics such as what the texts say about sex or relationships.

“I want to meet teens where they’re at,” Steklof said, “and I want it to be informal.”

Formal Jewish education in Louisville typically ends at 10th grade. Kesher Café is a different kind of educational programming tailored to the needs and interests of 11th and 12th graders.

Last year, Steklof revamped the former Federation Kesher Kentucky program, changing it from a lecture series with leaders in the Jewish community into a small, local, teen-led TED Talk format. (TED is a national nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks of 18 minutes or less.)

Kesher Café costs $125, $100 for JCC Members. Contact Steklof at 502-238-2708 or msteklof@jewishlouisville.org to register.

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