Uniting Jewish Girls Through Virtual Educational & Social Experiences 

The global pandemic should not be the reason for loneliness and isolation. During these trying times, it is more vital than ever before to provide human interaction and educational experiences connecting women and girls with live mentors, educators, performers and friends! 

At JGU we want every girl and woman to know: You are seen. You are heard. You are never alone! The world is waiting for your light to SHINE.
JGU is a safe and happy space where every girl can GROW, SHINE & IS FAMILY!

AT JGU Girls of all ages…

  • build self-confidence and express their Jewish self through the creative arts.
  • learn from the best mentors and educators from around the world? 
  • feel loved and accepted by peers and mentors and form lasting friendships.
  • blossom into confident leaders impacting the world with their strengths and talents.WELCOME to the JGU FAMILY!

Our Programs

Creative Online Clubs


Sundays, 11:30 AM – 1 PM EST (8:30-11:00 AM PST)

Your daughter will have the opportunity to explore her talents with professional instructors, to socialize with Jewish friends from around the world, and to explore relevant Jewish themes through a variety of creative online workshops. The theme this year will cover our Holiday Heroines who brought salvation to our people and shaped history. The program includes Holiday Heroines theme activities, songs, drama, and discussions; art and creativity, culinary arts and dance and movement with the best teachers and coaches from around the world.

Sample Schedule: Girls will be divided into age groups. Times are Tentative

11:00 AM: Bat Mitzvah & Beyond for girls in grades 5-7

11:30 AM: Drama/Debate/Creative Writing: in groups

12:20 PM: Fine Arts/Culinary Arts/Sewing

1:00 PM: Brunch and Holiday Heroine

Book Club – once a month

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Bat Mitzvah Club


2 time options: Tuesdays, 7:30-8:30 PM EST or Sundays, 11:00-11:40 AM EST

Girls embarking on their journey through Bat Mitzvah and Beyond will learn with master Bat Mitzvah Coach Nechama Laber and discover their unique gifts through discussion, games, arts and crafts, and friendship.  While exploring the lives of wonder women in the Torah from our New Seven Voices of Leadership Self Discovery Journal, they will learn about their vital role as modern Jewish women and gain the tools to blossom into confident leaders.

Sign up for the Talent Tuesdays program with the Bat Mitzvah Club and receive a discounted price.

Members will also be encouraged to share ideas and networking for a personal Bat Mitzvah project. 

Private lessons and speech prep is also available.

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Talent Tuesday


Tuesdays, 6:30-7:15 PM EST

On Talent Tuesdays, girls will Connect and Create with talented Jewish girls from around the world. Counselors will lead groups in various activities: write and draw, sing, dance, play games, and prepare for monthly talent shows. Talent Tuesdays will give every girl the opportunity to truly shine.

This exciting program will be lead by fun counselors from around the world, who receive leadership training by Coach Nechama Laber.

This program will be followed by the Bat Mitzvah Club for the girls in grades 5-6. Sign up for both and receive a discount. 

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Wonder Woman Wednesdays

Wednesdays, 7:00 PM EST
2x a Month for Women & Girls
2x Month for Girls

Meet and Greet remarkable Jewish women from around the world who share their struggles and strengths through cooking, art, song, storytelling, and interactive educational tools. Celebrate Rosh Chodesh through concerts, paint nights, and inspiring programs.  Mothers and daughters are encouraged to join together and celebrate the power of Jewish women twice a month.

Twice a month, the program will be lead by debate coach, Yakira Colish, and will teach how to act, and communicate with confidence through games and debates.

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Thinking Thursday for Teens


Thursday Evenings: 7:30-8:30 PM EST

Connect with fellow teens at an evening of creative thinking, Torah based leadership lessons, fun, and friendship. Discover your purpose and power as a leader. Here, we also address the unique challenges of our times by discussing relevant topics and encouraging questions.

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Teen Leadership Club


Sundays from 7:00-8:15 PM EST

Join the leadership team for leadership coaching, brainstorming and turning your passions into action!

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Judaic Homeschool Classes

Engaging Judaic Creative Classes for homeschoolers
for grades 2-5, Middle School & High School

Sun – Thurs. for 2 or 3 hours
3 classes per day

We believe in creating a setting for girls to uncover their talents and use them to connect with Hashem. Stimulating, text-based learning, combined with art, creative writing, music, dance, science, history, and passion projects instill practical life and leadership skills and enable our students to acquire a love for learning and to internalize core Jewish values. 

Daily Classes Include:
Monday: Chagim in-depth, Chagim Art, Thematic Torah based Dance
Tuesday: Healthy and Kosher Cooking, Tefila Tuesday Lesson, Tefilah Art
Wednesday: Jewish History, The Mikdash Within, Creative Cafe
Thursday: Parshah Lesson, Parshah based Creative expression, Passion Parshah Projects
Sunday: Bat Mitzvah Club, Holiday Heroines Theme, Creative Online Clubs: Cooking, Art, Drama, Dance and Connect and Create.

Project-Based Learning:
Our project-based learning introduces students to essential themes in the Torah and equips them to explore those themes as they span Tanach, Chassidus, and Jewish History, and apply them to their personal lives. With a mentor’s guidance and a wealth of informational resources, each student will research one aspect of the theme in focus, and creatively use their talents to present the lessons through a video, dance, song, writing, art, or drama. 

Passion Project: Girls will brainstorm and be guided with tools to create their own passion project that solves a problem and impact other people’s lives in a positive way. Girls will discover their passions and how to turn it into action to make the world a better place.

Torah Theme 5781: The JGU Torah theme for 5781 will be: “Building a Mikdash Within.” Girls will be involved in creating content for the JGU blog and researching, writing, and editing the next JGU book.

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My daughter is so busy baking, painting, creative writing and taking yoga and dance classes with professional instructors! It’s nice to see her so busy and social after four months at home!

Ronia Soroka

JGU nurtures my daughter’s mind, heart and soul and brings out her artistic expression. She enjoyed the friendships and the warmth of the staff.

Miriam Ilyayev

Our students have grown and benefited tremendously from their involvement in JGU, giving them an opportunity to develop their creative skills, confidence and connection to Yiddishkeit. We have seen how the positive energy they acquired through JGU camp and year round programs impacted their studies and peer relationships.

Raizel Nissim

Meet Our Amazing Staff!

We are so fortunate to have an incredible team of creative, inspiring women as instructors.

Nechama Laber
Nechama LaberCamp Director
Nechama Laber has been a passionate educator for girls for over twenty years. She has taught in day schools and Hebrew schools in Montreal, Brooklyn, Albany. She founded the Capital Region Bat Mitzvah Club in 1998 and the Bat Mitzvah Camp in 1999. Nechama and her husband, Rabbi Avraham Laber, are the co-directors of Chabad of S. Rensselaer County and the Jewish Girls Retreat.
Miriam Yerushalmi
Miriam YerushalmiDrama & Brain Gym Instructor
Mrs. Miriam Yerushalmi holds a double Bachelors degree in Psychology and Child Development and a double Masters degree in Psychology and Family Counseling. She has worked extensively with children (over 40 years) creating outreach programs using Drama and the arts to teach Brain gym: self-mastery brain training techniques with Torah Concepts.
Tzivia Kay
Tzivia KayCulinary Arts & Song Instructor
Tzivia Kay is a mother who is known for her delectable food, a bilingual poet, singer, songwriter, actress, inspirational speaker, parodist, artist, producer and a performer for women and girls only. Tzivia writes inspirational songs to bring herself, her family and others closer to G-d.
Chana Laber
Chana LaberFine Arts Instructor
Chana is a self-taught artist who has been creating since the day she can remember. She teaches art classes for children and teens and is passionate about sharing the gift of the creative process with others. Chana works with all kinds of mediums and including painting, illustrating, graphic design, typography, and really anything creative.
Chana Cotter
Chana CotterArt & Puppetry Instructor
Chana Cotter is Jewish artist, who specializes in Judaic art creations that are perfect gifts for Jewish weddings, anniversaries, and other simchas. She is also a retired English teacher. Chana will combine her passion for education and art to teach puppetry making.
Rae Shagalow
Rae ShagalowDIY Passion Projects Instructor
Rae Shagalov is the director of the Library Innovation Lab and the Gifted Program at Emek Hebrew Academy. She has the fun job of inspiring Jewish kids, women, and teachers to make their creativity and talents pop with Passion Projects and project-based learning. She is also a calligrapher and creates hand-lettered coloring books and Torah Art Journals.
Kerry Bar-Cohn
Kerry Bar-CohnDance Instructor
Dr. Kerry Bar-Cohn has many passions. She is married and raising four sons in Israel. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic and spends a big part of her day helping people get out of pain. Kerry loves to sing and dance and one of her favorite creative projects is performing as “Rebbetzin Tap.” As Rebbetzin Tap, she has starred in 5 DVDs and performed for children and women around the world. She also founded the Facebook group “Kol Isha” and Instagram account “Jewish Creative Women.” She loves helping Jewish women grow and connect through creativity.
Tzirel Liba Mitzmann
Tzirel Liba MitzmannSinging & Song Writing Instructor
Tzirel Liba is a singer and composer who has written over 100 songs on the full gamut of Jewish Life. She is the founder of ‘The Shabbos Queen Project’ a daily 3 minute message of Chizuk for women on upgrading all aspects of our Shabbos.
Combining her two passions The Shabbos Queen Project is now a musical shiur for women and girls creating a heightened awareness and passion for bringing Shabbos preparations into every day with joy!
Tzipporah Prottas
Tzipporah ProttasDavening & Creative Writing Instructor
I’m Tzipporah from Connecticut, USA, perpetual student and teen staff at Jewish Girls Unite, with a passion for connecting to G-d and our inner selves especially through the power of our words! In this vein, I am excited to be a counselor and lead morning-prayer club (daily), and a creative writing club, as part of the exciting program. I have been developing my writing talent for many years, more recently with the mentorship of JGU, and was fortunate to apply it in various ways, which include short stories, essays, poetry, blogs, press releases, and collaborations on educational or inspirational resources.
Yakira Colish
Yakira ColishDebate Instructor
Interested in improving your persuasion skills? Want to be able to speak confidently in an organized and logical manner? Look no further! Debate offers the opportunity to achieve all that and more! I discovered the world of debate at age 12 and have since won first place at various local and regional tournaments. During my time as debate captain, I coached my team to 2 school victories and helped transform a team of new debaters into award-winning champions.
I am driven by the desire to show girls like you, how powerful their voices are. Throughout the summer I will be coaching 2 debate classes. One that focuses on debate technique and goes more in-depth about what it takes to be a great debater, and one that takes on debate through the lens of interactive games. Feel free to take both!
Ahuvah Coates
Ahuvah CoatesArt Instructor
Ahuvah Coates currently resides in Chicago,Illinois. She loves to use her creative talents to both raise her family and and facilitate others to express their neshamos through artistic creative medium. She holds a B.A in Fine Art and Psychology as well as an M.S in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She has been working with JGU and JGR as an art coach for 3+ years. Her goal is to utilize art as therapeutic expression for both the body and soul!
Karen Sarto
Karen SartoDance Instructor
Karen Sarto was classically trained in ballet with the Royal Academy of London. She is also certified by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance for jazz, tap, folk, and ballroom dance. Karen is a sought-after choreographer and dance teacher for local stage and film productions, workshops, and retreats. She currently teaches dance and fitness classes for women and girls including classical ballet, lyrical jazz, tap, Israeli folk dance (Rikudei Am) and her signature, DanceFit! program. She loves to share the gift of dance!


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