The township’s Kellman Brown Academy recently announced a new middle-school program, the Jewish Leadership Academy (JLA), what it calls a one-of-a-kind experience that will offer leadership skills to students through hands-on internships with the Jewish Federation of South Jersey.
School head Rachel Zivic said the program will translate to success at the high-school level and beyond. It launches next fall.
“The sky’s the limit for our middle-school students as we inspire them to be the next generation of strong Jewish leaders,” she said. “At a time when families are searching for opportunities to make their children’s lives more meaningful, as well as prepare them for the future, the Jewish Leadership Academy at Kellman Brown will take our school and our community to the next level. “
The JLA at Kellman Brown will offer sixth, seventh and eighth grade students leadership training courses, opportunities for intergenerational engagement and learning, personal character development and a robust internship program with the Jewish Federation, in addition to the school’s comprehensive and rigorous middle-school curriculum and JSTEM, a revolutionary Jewish community STEM lab.
Debbie Ravitz, a Kellman Brown teacher and 1988 alumna, is head of the new JLA program. She looks forward to connecting with students on another level outside of the typical classroom.
“What this program does is it offers real-life experience and internships that are built into our actual curriculum,” Ravitz explained. “It will be the only program of its kind in the area … Each year builds on the previous year.”
Ravitz and Zivic stressed the importance – and uniqueness – of the JLA, which is not a club or other activity but is ingrained in the Kellman Brown curriculum.
“(Students) will actually be out in the community at businesses, at specific Jewish foundations,” said Zivic.
Students will also work with the Katz Jewish Community Center Jewish Community Relations Council Jewish Community Voice, Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Services, Samost Jewish Family and Children’s Services and the Jewish Community Foundation Inc.
Internship specialties students can choose from are widespread and much like that of a college major. They allow for students to start thinking early about what industry they may want to work in or help them discover one they didn’t know existed.
More information and applications for the Jewish Leadership Academy at Kellman Brown are now available online at kellmanbrownacademy.org/jla.