Kadima FAQ’s

What kinds of programs do we have?

Something for everyone! Some examples are:

  • Social Programs
    • Dances
    • Games
    • Roller skating
    • Trips
    • Movies
    • Basketball League
  • Educational Programs
    • Informal study sessions about topics such as: Prayer, Shabbat, Ethics, Covenants, Jewish Heroes
    • Fun holiday observances such as Supper in the Sukkah, chocolate seders
    • Regional Shabbat overnight (Shabbaton) for the NJ Kadima communitywith peer–led services
    • Special 8th grade leadership program
  • Social Action Programs
    • Learn about clowning as a way to help the sick and elderly
    • Help at local soup kitchens
    • Make and donate items for shelters, nursing homes

In addition, the region holds a one week encampment at the end of August, which combines all the elements of these programs and much, much more!

What is a Shabbaton?

A Shabbaton is a Kadima community observance of Shabbat. The Kadima members gather at one synagogue in the region on Friday afternoon and have the opportunity to spend a joyous Friday and Saturday together, with icebreakers, study, singing, food, and peer-led prayer, which ends with a social program such as a dance or other entertainment.

How do Shabbaton accommodations work?

Our Shabbatons are hosted by congregations in our region. The Kadimaniks will be housed by families who are members of the congregation, often those with children of Kadima age. Housing that is within walking distance of the synagogue is available. Kadimaniks are always housed at least 2 to a house, and bring sleeping bags so they can be together. Allergies to pets or food are taken into account through appropriate arrangements.

How are meals provided at a Shabbaton?

Most meals are served at the synagogue, beginning with dinner on Friday night. Breakfast on Shabbat is served at the host’s home, and consists of cold food, e.g. cereal or donuts. Lunch and dinner, as well as some snacks, are provided at the synagogue.

How do accommodations work at Spring Weekend?

Spring Weekend is one of the high points of the year, because it is held at a hotel. The Kadimaniks feel very grown up when they are staying in a hotel with their friends for two nights. Kadimaniks are roomed 3 or 4 to a room in either double or king size beds. All meals are provided for them.

What about security at Spring Weekend?

At the hotel Kadimaniks are not permitted to go to their rooms alone. The staff rooms are on the same floor (separate for boys and girls) and are intermingled with the Kadimaniks’ rooms. All rooms are checked to make sure no one is left on the floor during sessions. In addition, staff is on duty on each floor until well after the Kadimaniks’ curfew, and the hotel security guard checks the floors for the remainder of the night.

What is Encampment?

Encampment is a one-week program for Kadimaniks that incorporates all the elements of a summer sleep away camp into a shorter time frame. Our campers sleep in bunks with indoor plumbing (including showers), and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities including sports, arts and crafts, Maccabiah games (color war), and social action programs, as well as several education classes during the week geared specifically to their age and interest. Kadima-led religious services are held during the day at a variety of locations and with varying emphasis.

How can prayer be used to enhance the experience?

As part of the Conservative Movement, we perpetuate the traditional practice of praying three times a day. However, the prayer services are specially geared for this age group. Services may take place outdoors (weather permitting) or may consist of learning services or other methods of worship. Kadimaniks can participate to the extent of their desire and ability in a creative learning situation, with the ability to try new ways to communicate with God, while learning the more traditional prayer sequences.

My child already has so many after school activities, why should my child become involved in Kadima?

Participation in Kadima will broaden your child’s outlook by allowing him/her the opportunity to make Jewish friends, not only in your neighborhood and community, but also all over Northern and Central New Jersey and even beyond. Our youth program teaches leadership skills, and will enable the Kadimaniks to grow and develop in a unique way, while giving them the opportunity to embrace and more fully understand their Jewish heritage. AND IT’S FUN!!!!

How can my child join Kadima?

Kadima chapters are listed by synagogue. By calling the synagogue phone number listed, and leaving a message for the chapter advisor to call you, you can give your child the opportunity to join the fun and excitement of Kadima!

Don’t delay, call now so your child will not miss even one minute of fun! For more information about Kadima or any Kadima programs, contact Dassy Mark Associate Regional Youth Director, at 732-738-7960 or by email at mark@uscj.org.