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Are you ready to change the world?

Every year, nearly 2,000 high school-aged students participate in the Religious Action Center’s L’Taken Seminar in Washington, D.C. The program is designed to expose students to a variety of public policy issues, explore the Jewish values surrounding these issues, and teach the skills of an effective advocate.

Throughout the weekend, students are given the knowledge and tools to write an effective, persuasive and passionate speech on a topic of their choice.  This will be presented when visiting the offices of our senators and representatives during the trip.

Lobbying a Member of Congress is a unique experience that very few Americans take advantage of, and one that can have a significant impact on the course of legislation.

Students also take advantage of the vast opportunities available in our nation’s capital by visiting the National Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Smithsonian National Mall and celebrating Havdallah at the Jefferson Memorial.

All the while, students will have the chance to meet and mingle with hundreds of Reform Jews from across the United States, all of whom are in D.C. for the same reason—to pursue tikkun olam.

If your high school student is interested, contact the office. Space is limited.

Congregation Shomrei Torah Teens Participate in the Annual L'taken Social Justice Seminar

 

Click here to read the 2019 lobbying speeches.

Click here to read the 2018 lobbying speeches.

Click here to read the 2017 lobbying speeches.

Click here to read the 2016 lobbying speeches.

 

“In a word, the L’taken social justice seminar was a singularly unique experience for me. I was, admittedly, more excited at first to be traveling across the country for the first time in my life than to be taught about Jewish values and politics. And though we were given time to explore Washington D.C., and I greatly enjoyed that time, it doesn’t stand out as the highlight of the trip for me when I look backwards.

 

The lecturing portion of program, I came to find, was actually quite fun. There was not a single activity which failed to keep me engaged after its introductory period, and Jewish lessons as well as political ones were ingrained in those activities in ways that prompted further discussions rather than simple acceptance. Because it is taught in a manner which guides those in attendance through their own thought processes, the program facilitates young interest in politics and Judaic reasoning alike through each attendee’s own unique lens.

 

Capitol hill was truly larger than life, and being in Washington was an experience which I will not forget, but to my own surprise, the things I learned at L’taken were the most powerful portion of my experience.”

 

-Cole Levy, L’taken participant, 2016

“I had an amazing time in Washington, DC. It was different to be with a large group of teenagers for Shabbat services. We went to the Holocaust museum, it was the saddest part. The most emotional part was seeing all the shoes.

 

The best part was getting to know new people. I had a good time hang out and getting to know the people in my group. My lobbying speech was about disability rights. It was nice to be able to speak up about having a disability. I used this quote from the Torah that also talks about disabilities because I have lived with a disability my whole life and it spoke to me. “But Moses said to the Lord, ’Please, O Lord, I have never been a man of words, either in times past or now that You have spoken to Your servant; I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Who gives man speech? Who makes him dumb or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?’” (Exodus 4:10-11).  

 

I hope that my speech is one of many that helps to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).”

 

Hana Musgrove, L’taken participant, 2014

Sun, January 16 2022 14 Sh'vat 5782