Why this Jewish teen program in Palo Alto leaned into antisemitism post Oct. 7

(JWeekly) As the debate over the Israel-Hamas war has grown uglier, Jewish teens have been under a lot of pressure both in school and online.

That’s why the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto shifted a brand-new pilot program that focuses on life skills for juniors and seniors in high school to also help them learn to handle antisemitism.

The PREP (Pride Renewal Education Purpose) Fellowship — a program aimed at teaching teens to be independent, resourceful and prepared to stand up for themselves as young adults — was due to begin in January. But after the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre and spike in antisemitism worldwide, program leaders decided to start it in November to give extra support to the first group of participants.

As the pilot program nears the end of the first year, two members of the California Jewish Legislative Caucus presented PREP Fellowship with a symbolic pot of money in the form of a giant check in late April. The money, which was appropriated in the 2023-2024 state budget’s general fund, covers the first two years of the pilot program.

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