Frequently Asked Questions about JYCA!
1. What is it?
JYCA is Jewish Youth for Community Action. We're a community where you are given the chance to connect with other teens through life, community action, caring community and Jewish social justice values. It is a group of dedicated youth who act to make a difference in their communities. JYCA is fun, exciting, eye-opening, social, and an awesome, open place.
2. What do you do?
You meet incredible, inspiring people, make new friends, learn how everyone can make a difference in the world, learn about and try to help fix the many problems of the world. There are Leadership Training Sessions twice a month, plus retreats, community events, opportunities to do activism, community organizing and service. There are opportunities to engage in every part of JYCA. Youth-led means there are youth on the Board of Directors, all the committees, and planning all events.
3. Who’s in it?
High school aged youth from around the Bay Area interested in gaining leadership skills and participating in progressive social action. We are a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-religious community of young people who honor and care about social justice, activism and learning about the ways Jewish traditions and values can support our activism.
4. What’s the commitment?
JYCA starts with the Leadership Group in Training (LGiT), which meets twice a month. It begins in January and runs for six months, through the first week of June. The six months include two weekend retreats. All members participate in community activism. After completing the Leadership Group in Training, you can join the Organizing Group (OG) and lead workshops, plan events, lead organizing efforts, participate in higher level trainings and OG retreats. OG runs from September through June, meeting twice a month, and participants have the option of continuing on with OG each year of high school.
5. What’s the Jewish aspect of it?
We talk about the ties between Judaism and social justice, we reflect on issues within and facing Jewish communities, and we celebrate Shabbat and Havdallah on retreats (these celebrations are optional, and we welcome and include people of all faith traditions as a part of our community). We also celebrate some of the Jewish holidays together, like Hanukkah and Passover. Everyone is welcome regardless of your experience with Judaism.
6. Do I have to be Jewish to join?
No! Almost each year, we have non-Jews participate in our programs. We just ask that you be open to looking at the issues we discuss through a Jewish social justice lens.
7. What's the action aspect of it?
We learn about issues that are important to us and then figure out ways to educate and help. We attend social justice events as a community. We organize campaigns and projects around specific issues. We take action together, engage in political advocacy, organize our communities together, and learn to stand up vocally and publicly for what we believe in.
8. What’s the cost?
Tuition is on a sliding-scale fee, based on income and ability to pay
Leadership Group in Training (Jan-June) $800 - $1,400
The Organizing Group (Sept-June) $1,600 - $2,400
Please inquire about payment plans and scholarships if needed. We make every effort possible to ensure that JYCA is accessible to everyone.
9. How do I join?
Visit the program page for East Bay or the Peninsula for the application!
10. What’s the process and timeline for joining?
We begin accepting applications for the new Leadership in Training Group in the Fall. In November and December we have info sessions where you can learn more about LGiT and JYCA. Leadership Group in Training (LGiT) begins in January.