Teens to Teach Teens about Judaism in Kesher Cafe

No slideshows, no power points, no bells, no whistles — just enlightening, informal talks about Judaism with local teens.

That’s what Mike Steklof, teen director, hopes to achieve with the new program, Kesher Café.

The program, which runs Aug. 31-May 2015, will meet Sundays noon-1 p.m. at Panera Bread, 1801 Rudy Lane.

Participants will be asked to make presentations for their fellow peers throughout the year. There will be guest speakers as well from the Jewish community. But mostly, it will be teens leading discussions and talking about issues of Judaism that interest them, which could mean potentially controversial topics such as what the texts say about sex or relationships.

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

Steklof said formal Jewish education typically ends at 10th grade in Louisville. For some time now, he’s hoped to offer some kind of educational programming for 11th and 12th graders.

A teen lecture program called Kesher Kentucky used to be offered by the JCC in which teens heard from leaders in the Jewish community. Steklof wanted to revamp it and envisions it working kind of like a small, local, teen-led TED Talk. TED is a national nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks of 18 minutes or less.

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

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