Youth life at IHC is more than just attending our religious school. We offer tons of unique and engaging programs for members of all ages.
Whether it is family-friendly worship services and activities, engaging guest speakers, youth groups, or summer camp, IHC has what you are looking for. IHC is focused on building community and that always begins with our youth. Please view our calendar for upcoming events.
Small Chai K-2
Small Chai is our youth group for children in kindergarten through 2nd grade. Small Chai provides an entry point to begin building connections to the IHC Youth Community.
Members create a community of their own through participation in entertaining and engaging programs. Events are held once a month during Religious School on Sunday morning. This is a great way for our youngest congregants to connect with each other and start building friendships that will last a lifetime!
Rishonim is our Youth Group for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders. In Rishonim we continue the socialization and community building of Small Chai, but we take it a step further. While Small Chai focused on internal Jewish community, Rishonim explores the external community as well.
Events take place both on and off campus. While most events focus on having fun, several events allow the participants a chance to donate their time to help or enhance the Indianapolis community as a whole.
Junior Indianapolis Federation of Temple Youth, or JIFTY, is the Jewish Youth Group (JYG) program for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at IHC. JIFTY helps transition our members from our adult-led youth groups (Small Chai & Rishonim), to our youth-led group, IFTY. We offer a variety of social and social action events throughout the year.
JIFTY has a Board comprised of driven members with an interest in leadership. The Board helps to plan and select events, design programming, and promote the events to the broader Jewish community. Skills developed in JIFTY help prepare our members for participation in future IFTY events after they reach High School.
NFTY-OV, our regional High School youth group, hosts a JYG weekend each Spring, and all of JIFTY is invited to participate and meet other youth from around the region. JYG Weekend is a great way for members to reconnect with friends from around the region who they met at camp!
IFTY (Indianapolis Federation of Temple Youth)
IFTY is our senior youth group and is open to all high school students. IFTY builds a Reform Jewish community through different events and programs, which are completely planned, organized, and facilitated by members of the youth group with the guidance of the Youth Coordinator. All of our social activities, whether they are social or social justice, strengthen our members on their path to becoming Jewish young adults.
IFTY is part of the North American Federation of Temple Youth-Ohio Valley (NFTY-OV) Region, which in turn is a part of NFTY. Comprised of over 750 local synagogue youth groups, NFTY brings the Temple Youth Group (TYG) experience to more than 10,000 high school-age young people in grades 9 through 12. NFTYites forge and build friendships, Jewish identities, and leadership skills through worship, social action, and youth-led educational programming. Many NFTY leaders continue on to become both lay and professional leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement.
We are blessed to have Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI) just down the road in Zionsville, IN. IHC has partnered with GUCI for decades and a large portion of our young members spend their summers out there. GUCI is one of the best places for our youth to build lifelong friendships that extend beyond our Temple walls. GUCI is the Union of Reform Judaism Camp for the Ohio Valley region, so community built at GUCI continues throughout the year at NFTY-OV events.
GUCI offers day camp for 4 year olds through second graders, and overnight camp for 3rd through 10th graders. Beyond 10th grade, GUCI offers several different paths for campers to extend their camp experience. The members of IHC’s clergy team and the Youth Coordinator participate in camp life every year, and we truly cherish the relationship we have built with GUCI and the families that attend.