Pictured: Samantha Shire, Allison Stidham, Elizabeth Doctors, Sam Broth and Ari Tecktiel
Midbar Kodesh Temple USY recently held elections for the 2016-17 school year. Ari Tecktiel and Sam Broth will serve as Co-Presidents and Elizabeth Doctors will be the Executive Vice President. Samantha Shire will take over the Social Action/Tikkun Olam (SATO) Vice President position and Allison Stidham will do outreach as the Membership/Kadima Vice President. Each of these students has been a member of MKT USY for several years, most coming up through the Kadima program. They also engage in formal post b'nei mitzvah classes in the Ma'ayan program, where they meet twice monthly with Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel, community educators and leaders to discuss topical subjects.
Youth programming and teenaged formal and informal education at Midbar Kodesh Temple is a priority as leadership training is important to the future of Conservative Judaism. Post B'nei Mitzvah education, Jewish resident camp participation and trips to Israel are an important component of that leadership training.
Seventh through 12th grade students belong to USY and participate in several events each month. Some are informal lounge nights, where the students meet together to finish up homework assignments and study together. Others are just play dates where the students enjoy each other's company in a thematic program. The students participate in services and host Shabbat, havdallah and holiday programming.
Building a better world is an integral part of their programming and Midbar's USYers can be seen all over the valley helping others. Israel programming is also very important and almost all of Midbar' USYers travel to Israel on USY Pilgrimage. They have received scholarship from the Goldstein Educational Awards, the David L. Simon Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas to travel to Israel or to attend Jewish resident camps and the Macaabi Games.
MKT USYers have the opportunity to travel to synagogues to participate in Kinnusim in the Far West Region several times during the year. These shabbaton weekends are filled with ruach, Jewish education and participation in services, readying them to leave home and bring their spirit, knowledge and leadership to the campuses and communities where they eventually live. Many seek Jewish community involvement when they leave home by working in religious school and youth programs at other synagogues and joining Jewish Student Unions or Hillels on campus. Some, including several of Midbar Kodesh Temple's own board of directors, end up serving synagogues on committees or boards.
Midbar Kodesh Temple takes pride in the youth of it's synagogue, supporting their programming and their travel and counts each as a valuable member of the synagogue and greater communities.