It has been an amazing year at JYCA so far. We wanted to wish the entire JYCA community a Happy Passover and Happy Holidays and send you all an update on what we've been up to this year and exciting things to come!!! This fall JYCA youth worked hard to get out the vote in the midterm elections. There were some important things on the ballot including raising the minimum wage in Oakland to $12.25 and Prop 47 which changes criminal sentencing laws and invests millions in schools rather than prisons.
The previous spring, JYCAs helped collect signatures to place these measure on the ballot, so it was powerful to help get out the vote, and then see both measures pass!!! The youth participated in door knocking and leafletting, working with other local social justice organizations such as Bend the Arc, FAME (Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy), Lift Up Oakland, and Oakland Rising.
JYCA youth also produced an amazing video educating the community about Prop 47. To watch the youtube video please go to
JYCA led workshops in the fall on many current issues including immigration reform and police brutality. In the wintertime JYCA youth collected holiday presents for young people who have recently fled Central America seeking asylum.
They also had amazing Fall Retreat in Marin and Winter Retreat at Walker Creek Ranch where the youth hiked around with the many deer on the property, ate yummy food, celebrated shabbat, had an incredible talent show. and took meaningful workshops.
This spring JYCA youth, parents, and alumni participated in an amazing and historic rally in Oakland to bring awareness to environmental issues and demand real climate leadership, particularly on issues of fracking and the Keystone Pipeline. It was awesome to for JYCA youth to participate in a rally that JYCA alumni helped to organize!(Shout out to Sara Shor at 350.org!)
JYCA youth also continued their Food Justice campaign by participating in an awesome Social Justice Forum focused on Food Justice at Holy Names University where they learned from local Justice groups such as Youth Speaks, The Hope Collaborative, and Food First. We also have been working together with the Hope Collaborative on their Healthy Cornerstore Project, where we helped redesign liquor and corner store markets in the food deserts of Oakland transforming them into healthy markets that offer fresh, nutritious food. To check out or help out with this work go to
Join us if you can for the next action day on April 18th at 2pm!
We are also working on a Fair Trade educational campaign right now! JYCA youth are educating their friends, family, and community about the horrifying child trafficking practices of the cocoa and coffee industry and encouraging everyone to buy fair trade products! Right now YOU can support JYCA and small farmers in the global south by buying your chocolate, tea, coffee and beautiful gifts from our JYCA Equal Exchange Fair Trade Fundraiser!!! Talk to a a current JYCAn you know and order something amazing from their catalog, or go to the online JYCA fundraiser store at:
A portion of all sales go directly to a fair trade workers collective, and a portion goes to support JYCA!!!! Please order today!!! Fundraiser ends 4/12/15!
We are also soooooo excited to welcome a whole new group of JYCAns to the New LGIT Group this Spring. They are one of the most diverse and energetic groups to have joined JYCA in its 20 year history!! Our New LGIT Group had an incredible retreat this fall in Pt. Reyes and has already become an important and active part of our JYCA community!!!
We also want to shout out the amazing work of the youth who are using the skills they learned in JYCA out in their community. Current youth are producing educational videos on issues that they care about like autism and sexual harassment. Youth have created petitions and activist groups on issues of climate change issues and animal rights. JYCA youth were part of the founding a group that has done amazing work on sexual harassment issues at Berkeley High, called BHS Stop Harassing. These youth are part of activating a Federal investigation around Title 9 issues at their school and the "Yes means Yes" legislation SB 695 proposed by the California Senate this spring which focuses on Sexual Assault and Violence prevention by transforming high school health curricula. You can check out more of their work and support them at
We are so proud of all our JYCA youth and Alumni working so hard to create the world that they want to live in.
We are so grateful for all your support of JYCA and Youth Empowerment! We hope to see you all at the celebration of JYCA's 20th year on May 31st 2015 at the JYCA Spring Gala at Kehilla Community Synagogue at 1300 Grand Ave Piedmont CA from 5-8pm. You can purchase tickets right now at http://jycagala2015.brownpapertickets.com/
We are also still looking for amazing silent auction items! If you would like to help donate to the auction contact Melissa Rapp at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or to volunteer with the Gala contact Judith Silver at email@example.com.
Or you can donate to support JYCA anytime at:
Also JYCA is so grateful to have the support of the Walter and Elise Haas Foundation and to be the recipient of a Jewish Social Justice Matching Grant and a JVS Kohn Intern this past year. We are working hard to make sure that JYCA is sustained long into the future to support the next generation of Bay Area Jewish Youth Activists. If you have any information about grants or funding that could help us reach our goals- please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for all you do to participate in and support the JYCA community!!! It's incredible to be part of JYCA's 20 years of Youth Social Justice and Empowerment Work!
Please let us know your thoughts, ideas, visions for JYCA's future! You can email me at email@example.com
In Justice and Solidarity!
Jewish Youth for Community Action
1300 Grand Ave
Piedmont, CA 94610
JYCA ANUAL SPRING GALA!
MAY 31st 5pm-8pm
Kehilla Community Synagogue
1300 Grand Av
Can't Wait to See YOU There!
JYCA is accepting applications now for its new Leadership Group in Training!
If you are looking for a tight community of teens, skills that will help you take action on issues you care about, and fun food, retreats, beach time, workshops and community actions- JOIN JYCA!!! Open to all high school age teens. We meet in Berkeley twice a month from Jan- June and have a full retreat and a day long retreat where we really get to know each other! If you have any questions call 510-500-5936 or
apply now by clicking HERE!!!
We hope to see you soon. Come check out our first session and see if you like it on January 25th at 3-6pm at JFCS in Berkeley- 2484 Shattuck Av. email jyca.shira @gmail.com for any questions! See you soon!
Gefilte loves to get mail!!!!! Thanks so much for supporting JYCA! We had a little printing error recently with return envelopes- so if you had mail come back that you sent to us, please send it to JYCA at 1300 GRAND Av PIEDMONT, CA 94501...... The JYCA community of supporters are the best! Gefilte, JYCA's mascot, and all of us thank you for your lasting support, (20 years...pretty amazing) During this season of miracles, we all prove that justice is possible! You can also send out support at
We are incredibly excited to announce that the application for JYCA's new Leadership Group in Training is now online! Click here for the application. JYCA's Leadership Group in Training is a six-month long program that provides high-school aged youth an opportunity to build leadership skills, take action on social justice issues, and bond with other young activists. JYCA is a radically inclusive space where everyone is respected, valued, and encouraged to be who they are to the fullest.
Want to hear more about JYCA from the current participants? Come to the youth-led info session! It's December 14, from 3-5pm at Congregation Netivot Shalom (1316 University Ave, Berkeley).
Applications are due January 2, 2015. The Leadership Group in Training will start on January 25th and meet twice a month through June, including one weekend-long retreat. For more information or questions, please contact Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In another edition of the oral history project, current participant Rachel Siskin-Levine talks with JYCA alumna Miriam Priven about their favorite moments and memories from JYCA.
This past summer, current JYCA youth began a project of collecting stories from JYCA alumni about their experiences in JYCA. This conversation is between Sari Bilick, a JYCA alumna and current JYCA board member, and Maya Siskin-Levine, a current JYCA participant. They talked about how JYCA builds youth leaders.
If you are a JYCA alumnus or connected with JYCA in another way in the past twenty years (!) of JYCA’s history and would like to tell your story, contact Ben at email@example.com, and we can set up an interview!
We just came back from JYCA’s first weekend-long retreat of the year in the stunningly gorgeous Marin Headlands. On retreat, we played super silly games, bonded as a group, explored the beach, and reflected on our lives and priorities during Shabbat and Havdallah. We also had thought-provoking workshops on gender and sexuality and on building healthy relationships, including sections on how to be an ally to LGBTQ people and improving communication in all types of relationships. By the end of the retreat, we all did not want to leave, and we can’t wait for our next retreat in January!
JYCA (Jewish Youth for Community Action) is an innovative leadership training program dedicated to empowering Jewish youth and contributing to social justice.