Today’s news:

Trio of Queens synagogues launch new youth program

Two synagogues in Fresh Meadows and one in Hollis Hills have joined forces to launch an expanded youth program that will cater to young people from throughout the city and Long Island, Hollis Hills Jewish Center Youth Group Director Sheryl Glickman said.

The Hollis Hills Jewish Center, Hillcrest Jewish Center in Fresh Meadows and the Israel Center of Conservative Judaism, also in Fresh Meadows, Sunday began their joint program that is expected to include about 100 children and teenagers who will engage in a wide range of activities this year, from ice skating to having dances at Westchester synagogues.

Hollis Hills and Hillcrest previously worked together on youth groups, but this is the first year the three religious institutions will offer the program that will be expanded to include younger children.

“The benefit from working together is we stand to reach more children,” Glickman said. “Because we’re three synagogues together, they get to meet children from all over northeast Queens they may not normally meet. This allows them to go outside the box and meet kids from other areas.”

The synagogues began their registration for the program Sunday at the Hollis Hills Jewish Center. Registration will be ongoing and children may sign up at any time. Individuals do not need to be members of one of the three religious institutions in order to participate.

Prior to this year the two synagogues ran only three groups that included individuals in grades 3 to 12. This year there will be four different groups, all meeting Sunday evenings, and will include individuals in second- through 12th-grade.

Second- and third-grade students will be in the group named Nitzanim, which means “buds.” They will meet at the same time as the fourth- and fifth-grade students Sundays from 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. The fourth- and fifth-grade students are in the Chalutzim group, which translates as “pioneers.”

“Since that timeframe can coincide with the dinner hour, we’ll be offering the kids the option to purchase pizza during the meeting,” Glickman said.

Kadima, for children in grades 6, 7 and 8, will follow at 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the United Synagogue Youth for individuals in grades 9 through 12 will go to their meeting from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The events will usually be held at one of the three sponsoring synagogues.

All three synagogues are affiliated with the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, which allows the Kadima and USY members to participate in regional events, such as going on a cross-country bus trip.

“The kids build relationships that often last a lifetime,” Glickman said. “Although I’m from Suffolk County, my daughter was part of the synagogue youth group. She’s 30-years-old now but she still has friends from the youth group that she keeps in touch with.”

For more information, call Sheryl Glickman at the Hollis Hills Jewish Center at 718-776-3500.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.

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