Young Company

Just Act NYC will provide emerging actors with an unprecedented opportunity to grow as artists while immersed in a Jewish community that supports their identities and beliefs.

This new opportunity incorporates the best of the URJ’s trademark summer programming with leading principles in Jewish youth engagement. We’re pleased to share more about how this program can inspire your teens and encourage increased engagement in meaningful Jewish life beyond the summer.

Jewish Text, Tradition, and Values

Teens will work as an ensemble – a small group of 8-15 teens – with members of Irondale’s company and Jewish educators, to develop an original production and develop their repertoire of skills. They will use Jewish values, texts and ideas as the inspiration for their performance and work with Just Act staff to interpret and adapt these values as they explore texts, scripts, current events and more to develop their production.

They will spend one day a week outside of the theater, participating in social justice experiences that relate to their work on stage – building relationships with different types of people, identifying ways in which they can be agents of change, and pursuing their obligation to be engaged in the work of tikkun olam.

Most importantly, Jewish values will guide the daily experience at Just Act NYC – from learning how to give and receive feedback, to showing respect and honoring each other’s ideas, our ensembles are built upon a foundation of the values of Reform Judaism, which creates an environment ripe for creative exploration.

Teens will:

  • Start with a Jewish source text as the foundation of their production
  • Identify key Jewish texts and interpretations that they find meaningful and apply these teachings to their own lives as actors and as teenagers in New York City
  • Articulate how theater can be used as a tool for education and social change
  • Feel empowered to continue the work of pursuing social justice by participating in diverse community service and advocacy projects throughout the session
  • Create a performance that showcases their skills in theater and their deeper understanding of Judaism, social justice, and their ability to impact their community and world

Content Diversity

Just Act NYC exposes teens to the intersection between acting, social justice, and deepening one’s Jewish journey. At their core, theater and performance art are about telling stories that strengthen relationships and build understanding. We want Just Act NYC to help participants tap into the Jewish values inherent in acting, such as analyzing text, understanding character and connecting with others.

Just Act NYC allows teens to pursue their passion for acting and train at a high level, all within an immersive experience. Teens no longer have to forego a Jewish summer experience in order to pursue their passion for acting.

A Different Kind of Schedule

We know that a residential camping experience is not for everyone, but that the immersion and excitement of Jewish camping can transform lives. To offer flexibility to our participants, this non-residential program will run Monday – Friday. Teens will be able to have summer jobs, take classes, and spend time with family and friends, in addition to pursuing growth as an actor in a Jewish setting.

Teens who may have foregone a Jewish summer experience in the past will be able to pursue their passion for theater and experience the joy of a Jewish summer program. We believe that their time at Just Act NYC will leave teens looking for more opportunities to connect their love of acting with their Jewish identity, and that Just Act NYC will be a launchpad to deeper connections beyond the summer.

Learn more about how Jewish life is experienced at Just Act NYC in our FAQs.