As the largest orthodox shul in Great Neck, the Great Neck Synagogue Youth Department does all it can to ensure that Judaism will live on for future generations, while at the same time providing entertaining and pleasurable activities for its youth in a Torah environment. The Youth Department staff is composed of dedicated teenagers as well as trained professionals for our youngest participants, under the talented and dedicated leadership of our Youth Director Rabbi Sholom Jensen.
The Youth Department sponsors trips to basketball games, amusement parks, arcades and ski areas. Weekly events include a basketball league, gym nights and a soccer program.
On Shabbat mornings at 8:30 a.m. older children participate in a Youth Minyan, where they take turns reading the Torah and leading the davening. Junior Minyan begins at 10:30a.m. for children ages six to eleven followed by a Kiddush of juice, pretzels, cookies or ice cream. Our Toddler, Nursery and Kindergarten begin at 10am and end around 12pm. For parents who bring their children to shul early we have an early age pre-group beginning at 9am and ends at 10am. The Mishnah Club for 5th through 8th grade begins at 10:30am and ends at 11:15am. The Cholent Kiddish for our older kids (teens through college) begins at 11:15 and ends at 12pm.
Weekly attendance on Shabbat mornings is in excess of 175 children. However, groups are kept small and the youth leaders make sure that all the children are given a chance to participate.
The Youth Department publishes a monthly newsletter, written by the children themselves. In all of the programs, our most important goal is to make sure that each child feels a sense of belonging not only to the group, but to the larger Jewish community.