Youth & Teens


Our youth groups are an important part of Temple Beth El’s commitment to engaging our children from five years old all the way up to age 18. Our youth program offers different groups that present opportunities for TBE kids to participate in activities structured to foster lifelong Jewish values and forge friendships that last a lifetime.

Sam Swire-  Director of Youth Engagement
Sam Swire joined Temple Beth El as our new Director of Youth Engagement on July 1, 2016. An experienced professional in Jewish youth education, Sam hails from Portland, Oregon and most recently was the Assistant Director of B’nai B’rith Camp and BBYO. Sam has served as a song leader, NFTY youth group advisor, logistics supervisor and in other roles always supporting and inspiring youth and teens.

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KATANTY (Grades K-2 & 3-5)

Our K-5th grade groups are called KATANTY. Katan is the Hebrew word for small and TY stands for temple youth- KATANTY!

KATANTY K-2 (K – 2nd Grade)

KATANTY K-2 gives our youngest participants a beginning foundation of what the TBE Youth program is all about with activities that emphasize fun and may include experiential Jewish learning. KATANTY K-2 helps children make Jewish connections while participating in games, races and crafts.

KATANTY 3-5 (3rd – 5th Grade)

The sky is the limit for FUN with KATANTY 3-5! This group will enjoy socializing with their Jewish friends from Religious School. Events include movie nights, Laser Tag and much more.


LIBERTY 67 (Grades 6-7)

LIBERTY 67 (or 76 depending upon how patriotic you want to be), is TBE’s youth group for 6th and 7th graders. This group is part of the NFTY 678 network and acts as a bridge from KATANTY elementary school programs to our 8th – 12th grade LIBERTY group by offering social and educational programs that also include a leadership component to help prepare for future leadership. LIBERTY 67 participants make active choices in deciding locations, snacks and activities for events.

LIBERTY (Grades 8-12)

LIBERTY (8th-12th Grade)

LIBERTY (Life In Beth El Reform Temple Youth) is TBE’s flagship youth group. The teen-elected LIBERTY Board organizes and implements programs with assistance from the Director of Youth Engagement and Rabbi Klass. From outdoor events, lock-ins and social action projects to meaningful weekend programs with other Jewish teens throughout the Southeast, LIBERTY offers teens the best way to become involved, make life-long friendships and set the course for their own Jewish journey.

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At Temple Beth El, we believe that singing Jewish songs and learning to pray through music from a young age are critical to the development of lasting Jewish identity.

All of our young congregants sing, pray, and dance at Tot Shabbat, Religious School T’filah, Shabbat SongFest, Family Shabbat Services, and at youth events. Congregants in grades K-6 can join Shir Kids (Youth Choir) under the direction of Cantor Thomas and Patty Torcellini.

Eighth through twelfth graders have three distinct additional musical opportunities: Songleading with Ms. Patty, Teen Vocal Ensemble, and Teen Band with Cantor Bernard.


Made up of students in grades 8-12, the Teen Band and Teen Vocal Ensemble lead the music of our monthly, Saturday morning Congregational Shabbat services October through May, and at special events throughout the year. Many students participate in both ensembles. Students who wish to join either ensemble should contact Cantor Bernard.  Cantor Bernard writes all of the band arrangements and will write new parts for any instrument with at least a week’s notice. Teen Band practices on Congregational Shabbat morning from 9:00 am to 10:00 am; Teen Vocal Ensemble has one hour-long rehearsal during the week preceding Congregational Shabbat and a warm-up/sound check on Congregational Shabbat morning from 10:00 am to 10:30 am. Band and Vocal Ensemble members usually join in the congregational brunch immediately before the 11:00 am service.


There are many summer camp experiences offered to our children. The Union for Reform Judaism has a variety of residential camp programs. Two of these programs are especially popular with Temple Beth El youth: URJ Camp Coleman in Cleveland, Georgia and URJ 6 Points Sports Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Camp Mindy, a day camp for preschoolers through teens, located conveniently in Shalom Park, is offered by the Levine JCC.


The YEC is made up of congregants who are passionate about TBE Youth.  The YEC works with the Director of Youth Engagement (DYE) and the Associate Rabbi to support Temple Beth El’s programs for K-12 and college-aged TBE Youth.

Contact Sam Swire if you are interested in being part of YEC.


HaKesher is a bridge between our hometown Jewish community and our college age students who are living and learning all over the world. Whether in college, experiencing a gap year, or working, we invite you to remain connected to your TBE friends and community to continue creating bonds and building relationships. Join our Facebook Group and receive 2 free gifts a year during the Jewish holidays. Stay updated for information about Birthright trips, opportunities for part-time employment, volunteering as chaperones for our amazing youth events and reunions!

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