JCC Global Teen Fellows


A Leadership Program

Orange County (2018) • Buenos Aires (2019) • Kfar Yona (2020)


In November 2017, the Merage JCC formed an exciting new partnership with our sister JCC in Israel, Kfar Yona and new partner JCC, Hakoaj Buenos Aires, Argentina. Together, the three communities created JCC Global Teen Fellows 2.0: A Leadership Program.

Each year we will each select a cohort of Jewish teens aged 14-17 years old to represent our respective communities in this teen leadership program. For several months, teens from the three communities will embark on a preparatory training process at their home JCC and then come together for a leadership seminar and fun filled global social encounter in Orange County (2018), Buenos Aires (2019), Kfar Yona (2020).

The goal is for our teens to experience Jewish Peoplehood, expand their world through global Jewish connections and to develop a foundation for becoming community leaders.


How Can You Be a Part of JCC Global Teen Fellows 2.0 Cohort 1 (2018)?



14-17 year old Jewish teens who are participating in JCC Maccabi 2018


Feb – July, 2018, monthly Sunday seminars (2.5hrs)
July 31-Aug 12, 2018, Summer Leadership Program and JCC Maccabi Games in Orange County


Hosting teens from Israel and/or Argentina
Leadership training
field trips
boat cruise
community service
international teen Shabbat
JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest
away-Weekend for Shabbaton/Leadership Retreat


$300, in addition to applicable JCC Maccabi fees

More Info:

Parent and teen information meeting: January 21, 5pm at the Merage JCC.


Check out our teen journalists' insights from summer 2016 



Todah to the following for their generous support: 

Doris Chasin

Supported by an Impact Grant from Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County 


How We Got Here

In 2014 the Merage JCC of Orange County launched a partnership, JCC Global Teen Fellows or Family Tree, with Jewish community centers in Mexico City, Mexico and Kfar Yona, Israel. Annually from 2015-2017, each partner gathered a cohort of teens to come together each summer for a social and cultural encounter that alternated host communities. The teens and their families studied their own Jewish family trees and shared and compared their findings. They experience home hospitality and made new friends and connections from across the Jewish world. Over the three years, 85 teen participants from Orange County joined 150 teens from Israel and Mexico for the program.

The program grew out of a global initiative, Amitim, to strengthen international ties and Jewish peoplehood. The Merage JCC was selected as one of 10 North American JCCs alongside 10 from Israel and 10 from the rest of the world to be part of the Amitim program of JCC Global. JCC Global is the umbrella body of JCCs across the world. 

Our Amitim and JCC Teen Global Fellow programs are under the leadership of Samantha Cohen, Associate Executive Director, and chairs Adrienne Matros, Wendy Stark and Catie Chase


Our Partners