Register for all teen programs (Tzedakah Board, Madrikhim, etc.) online Here


A soulful place for friends, fun, and becoming the leader you were meant to be.


Teen Engagement & Community Building

BESTY is an awesome opportunity to discover the depths of Jewish community through developing bonds and strengthening friendships with other teens. Through monthly socials and events including a couple of major retreats, our teens have many diverse pathways into Jewish engagement that are both meaningful and fun. Our teen leadership board and clergy team are deeply committed to creating an inclusive space where your unique presence and contributions are valued.


President (Co-Presidents)– Ethan Cortes, Ethan Engler, Gabriel Young

PVP – Programming Vice President– Lilith Lanier

SAVP – Social Action Vice President– Ella Levi and Sophia Roye

RCVP – Religious and Cultural Vice Presidents– Hannah Spector, Noah Lederman, and Levi Wieder 

MVP – Membership Vice President– Chloe Berg 

CVP – Communications Vice President– Jane Griffin 

FFVP – Fundraising and Financial Vice Presidents– Tamara Cortes, Talia Penzell,  and Lily Lustig 

SLVP – Songleading Vice President– Jaidan Kiefer


8th Grade Tzedakah Board

Leadership & Changing The World

BESTY teens have many opportunities to contribute to our synagogue and the greater community. Our teen programming offers much more than a place to socialize and “hang out.” Through new experiences, our teens have the chance to learn, grow, and transform the world around them. Our BESTY teens are integrated into our wider Temple Beth El community where they get to share their leadership in our religious school and in some of our biggest synagogue events and holidays. Our 8th Grade Tzedakah Board gives away thousands of dollars to make a difference in our community, supported by the wisdom of our Jewish tradition.

Tzedakah Board is a philanthropic foundation of eighth graders who commit time outside of school to engage in questions of how to fix our broken world. In this influential and dynamic program, participants learn about Jewish wisdom on charitable giving and social change, financial literacy, and modern philanthropy, and then award $4,000 – $10,000 to organizations that they deem effective in making the world a better place. Each registered participant contributes $600, which includes $100 to the group’s philanthropic fund. It is our hope that your child contribute some or all of the $100 to this fund (most use gifts received celebrating their bar/bat mitzvah). The group funds are pooled, and then matched by an anonymous donor, and students also participate in a group fundraising activity to increase the total amount they will grant to the organizations and causes they value and choose to support. Participating in the Tzedakah Board will give teens the following:

  • Greater sophistication about money and how it can be leveraged to make positive change in the world.
  • Deeper knowledge about how the wisdom of Judaism can inform your decisions about money and how to use it for prosperity for all
  • Connection to other Temple teens around the mission of making a difference in the world.
  • A remarkable extracurricular activity on your resume to help open the door for college and other job positions when you reach that stage.

Calling all 8th-12th graders!
Mondays 4:30-6:30pm and/or Fridays 4-7pm

While earning community service hours and giving back to the temple community, teens can be mentors, build relationships, gain valuable leadership skills, and spend time with friends by helping out in classrooms with pre-K through 7th grade students in religious school. Get involved by contacting our Program Director, Wendy Yesharim for more details at

Passport to Regional Events
Since TBESOC is affiliated with both Reform and Conservative national movements, the BESTY community is included as part of both the local NFTY Reform teen chapter and the USY Conservative teen chapter. BESTY members can participate in Regional Youth Events, allowing them to make friendships with an even wider group of teens.

Program Costs
Tzedakah Board: $600
(Includes Tzedakah Board & BESTY membership)

BESTY membership (9th-12th Graders): $500 
(BESTY membership includes admission for all events, except L’taken)

L’taken Weekend in DC: $450 (in addition to BESTY membership)


Upcoming BESTY Events:

Modern Maccabees: Overcoming Anti-Semitism in Today’s World (with UCI Hillel)
7:30pm on Friday, December 6
Registered BESTY teens attend free
Non-BESTY $54/person

Click Here to register

BESTY Club Night: A Night in Vegas

7-10pm on Saturday, December 7
at the temple
BESTY members attend FREE!
All 8-12 graders are welcome to attend. Click here to RSVP.
DJ, raffle, mocktails, karaoke games and photo booth.
For question or more information, contact Cantor Natalie Young at
Open to BESTY members and ALL of their friends-Jewish or not!


Downloadable Information

2019-20 Brochure

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