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.


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2019-20 Brochure

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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.


Graduation and Mitzvah Recognition Evening
Friday, May 15 at 6pm
A Friday evening Shabbat service and dinner celebrating our teen leaders, the work of the 8th Grade Tzedakah Board, and graduating seniors. During the 7th grade Mitzvah Project Showcase, our teens will be recognized for their commitment, creativity, teaching skills, ability to connect with younger students, and contributions to the community.

B’tzalel Arts & Music Festival 2020:
Seeds of Peace – L’takein et HaOlam (Healing the World)
Sunday, May 31 at 1pm outside on the Temple Beth El of South Orange County campus
Join us, along with other participating congregations, for a fabulous afternoon of art, music, theatre and fun! Come celebrate the amazing creations of all our artists who participated in our workshops, and explore your own creativity at some of our hands-on stations! The day will include musical performances by professional and community groups on the green stage, art class displays, cooking class tasting station, play & learn village for kids, silent auction, and artist crafts fair. This will be a wonderful community event you won’t want to miss!

Dinner, Movie and BESTY Campout Under the Stars
Overnight from Saturday, June 27 at 7pm–Sunday, June 28 at 8am
Celebrate the end of a fantastic year with your BESTY besties! Details will be posted on our website.

August 14 at 9am at the temple
Volunteer to stuff backpacks
August 16 at 8am at Macy’s (at The Shops at Mission Viejo)
Chaperone a foster child for Back-to-School clothes shopping (see page 22 for more information).

Spring Retreat
NFTY SOCAL Spring Kallah
April 24–26 at Camp Alonim (Simi Valley) for grades 8-12
Spring Kallah is an immersive, weekend camp retreat focused on welcoming 8th graders and saying farewell to our seniors. Begin with a special teen-led musical tfilah and an innovative and engaging mixer experience, and spend the weekend “unplugged” at beautiful Camp Alonim. Registration opens March 8 with incremental pricing through April 12 at

Click here for more details



The following is a list of BESTY Board Members and their positions:

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 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

This group of teens is extremely dedicated to BESTY and ensuring that we have great events and. meaningful experiences.

For those of you who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, my name is Jesse Arzt and I am the BESTY Youth Advisor. In collaboration with Cantor Young and and our BESTY teen board, we have had an amazing time creating fun and meaningful programming for our teen community. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out.

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)