Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Need by March 31: Jewish teens who like to write (and travel)!

I was thrilled to learn of an annual weeklong youth program that sounds like an irresistible cross between America’s Got Talent and sleepaway camp. It’s billed as “the premiere arts experience for creative Jewish teens.” It’s been running for years.

Then I was honored to be invited as of its ten artists-in-residence in Houston this year.

But we’ve just encountered a problem and we need to solve it by the end of March (yikes!): we need more teens. Do you know any who like to write?

The program:

In short, JCC Maccabi ArtsFest is one of the most enticing opportunities for creative youth I’ve ever seen.

Ten creative professionals in categories including Creative Writing, Acting/Improv, Dance, Musical Theater, Culinary, Visual Art, Rock, and Jazz all descend on one Jewish Community Center for one week to mentor a small group of teens from around the country; the culmination is a variety show where all ten groups of teens get to show off their stuff. It’s not a competition but rather a chance for young people to learn one-on-one from experts in their field; the teens take workshops during the day and socialize at night. Click here to learn more and to read bios of the artists-in-residence (but first read the rest of this post!).

The problem:

We need more enrollments or my category, Creative Writing, will be canceled—and the deadline is March 31. The program is open to Jewish kids from around the world ages 13-16. Cost is based on the city of origin.

How you can help:
Simply spread the word to any family you know with Jewish teens (specifically any who like to write) and any Jewish institution that might be willing to notify its membership. E-mail them the link to this very post: And please emphasize the need for immediate action!

If potentially interested, please contact one of the following right away:

  • Stacie Graff, JCC Maccabi Experience Program Associate,, 212-710-6435
  • Brittany Horwitt, 2012 JCC Maccabi ArtsFest Director,, 713-729-3200 x3327

Thank you for your help. I hope to see your teens in Houston this summer! For my part, I can guarantee an experience that will have a huge positive impact—and be loads of fun, too.

“I have known Marc and his work with children in schools for at least eight years and I can tell you with complete honesty that he is the best, the very best, in inspiring children. He is able to empathize with them (and adults, also) to an incredible degree. As a matter of fact, he becomes a role model for many of them. One wrote in his evaluations, ‘Mr. Nobleman’s name fits him. He is a noble man.’ His books have the same kind of integrity. I cannot recommend him highly enough.”

—Susie Mee, Director, Authors Read Aloud (a Learning Leaders program), New York, NY

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