Gesher LeKesher (Bridge to a Connection) is a national teen mentoring and leadership program implemented in synagogues for Jewish teens. The model for the Gesher LeKesher Princeton Mercer Bucks program was developed in 2000 by the Princeton Center for Leadership Training.

Program partially funded by the Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks.

Local high school juniors and seniors from many local synagogues participate in the building of a strong Jewish community working with younger students. Personalized attention from older peers, along with interactive Jewish learning activities and meaningful discussions, helps younger students define their beliefs, roles and attitudes and gives them the opportunity to express their own opinions.  Concurrently, older students develop valuable leadership skills, including how to present issues, lead group activities, facilitate group discussions and serve as role models. Explore topics from a Jewish perspective in a safe space based on community and connections of Jewish identity.

About the Program

Student participants attend two training sessions on Monday nights from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and one outreach either Monday or Wednesday night for a total of 6 hours per month. In addition, there is a retreat in September and an evening leadership program in January. Gesher LeKesher runs from September until April. The Gesher LeKesher program fee is $425/person and scholarships are available.

Together, the teens strengthen their connections with their heritage, with their Judaism, and with other youth. The program encourages the creation of vibrant communities where mitzvot, rituals, values and Jewish culture are experienced, respected and integrated into the lives of young people. Each year, on average 35 – 40 Madrichim (peer leaders) work with 100 – 150 Talmidim (learners/students).

For more information about Gesher LeKesher, see the program brochure or contact Celeste Albert at 609-987-8100 ext. 210.