Jana Schwartzjoined Temple Beth Rishon in 2004 as our first full-time Youth Group Director. Since then, Jana has infused our Youth Group program with such positive energy, that the number of children involved has increased six times over! Jana’s infectious smile and philosophy of inclusion have greatly enhanced TBR’s youth activities. "Sometimes finding enrichment comes hard, my hope is that the kids can gain as much from me, as I do from them."
Graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a B.A in Sociology, and a minor in Substance Abuse, Jana taught in the Fort Lee School District, assisting students with Special needs prior to joining our staff. Her experience in teaching children prepared her well for handling the dozens of YJ kids who visit her office.
As Youth Group Director, Jana plans activities and discussions with children from kindergarten through sixth grades. She also works with Hebrew High School students once a week, combining social and educational programming to engage them into thinking about and discussing real life issues. The High School program provides the teens with opportunities to unplug and enjoy TBR's community.
In addition, Jana leads a High School program specifically for teen girls called Rosh Hodesh - It's a Girl Thing! This is an experiential educational program currently touching the lives of 3,500 girls across North America. The program uses Jewish teachings and practice to give girls a safe place to articulate their deepest concerns, consider the impact of gender on their daily lives, have fun, and be 'real' with their peers.
Jana's door is is always open for kids of all ages, parents, or grandparents! "I love to see faces of all ages in my office. I am at TBR not only to run the Youth Group but as a friendly face when you need to talk. So, if you see my door open, come on in to say "hi" so I will get to know your name and I will learn to recognize your face!"
Jana lives close to TBR in Wyckoff with her husband, Josh and their darling daughter.