About JGU

IMAGINE...

Thousands of Jewish girls around the world united through learning a monthly theme, a virtual classroom with girls meeting Jewish girls from around the world…blogs connecting girls through creativity and self-expression... a safe online forum where girls share ideas and how it applies to their lives… Shine your Light campaigns where girls express their unique talents…a community where girls feel loved and accepted by peers and mentors.. a place where every girl can truly shine her inner light! Welcome to Jewish Girls Unite!

 

Our History

Jewish Girls Retreat created such love and connection that Nechama Laber and Leah Caras (creator of Yaldah Magazine) put their heads together to try to figure out how to sustain the 'JGR way' year round. The girls begged for camp year round. Coach Susan Axelrod, joined them with a strategy, and Jewish Girls Unite, a global online community for Jewish girls is the result!  

 

Our Mission

We are a global community and family of Jewish girls connected by a common heritage, using cutting-edge approaches in education and technology.  We celebrate Jewish girls and women, Jewish life and values, and creativity. We aim to inspire Jewish girls to embrace their Judaism with pride and become the mothers and leaders of the future. Jewish Girls Unite encourages girls to tap into their hidden talents, use the arts to express their Judaism, and pursue their dreams.

FAQs

1Is there a charge to be a user?
Currently there is no charge. Join us! Click here to register.
2So how does JGU make money?
Transparency is important to us! We are happy to share with you the ways that we make money to support JGU’s strong future. We are committed to running an efficient organization while well-supporting our principles, contractors and vendors. We make money through: 1) Advertising--we offer your business a global audience of Jewish girls and all those who care about them. Please click here for more information on advertising. 2) Class registration fees--we offer online classes where girls learn while having fun, engaging with each other from all over the world via real-time chat function. Click here for more info on classes. 3) Join the Legacy: Fundraising--we have many simple and affordable ways for people to share their resources with our Jewish girls. We actually offer an opportunity for you to honor and perpetuate the legacy of our beloved Jewish Matriarchs with monthly gifts. Click here for information on monthly giving. 4) Celebrating your loved ones--we have the most creative and fun way for you to celebrate your loved one with a tribute donation to dedicate a class! Click here for information on this unusual giving opportunity 5) Product sales---over time we will be adding products that we feel are appropriate and relevant to our users and customers. We are always looking for strategic partnerships with others who want to cross-market, but we have a strict guidelines we follow to keep a consistent message/content/feel for our Jewish girls.
3How can I support this wonderful community of Jewish Girls?
Thank you for asking! There are so many ways to support our Jewish Girls! It all starts with logging on the website and visiting the forum and blogs. Here are the top five ways you can support our Jewish Girls: #5 Join the community! Skim through everything on the site and see what is the most fun and of most interest to you. #4 Share your inner light by writing on the safe forum and submitting your writing, music, jokes, crafts, recipes, videos or whatever else inspires you and will inspire or entertain others! #3 Share what you’ve learned and what you’ve done with your friends and family! Hold a JGU meetup. #2 Observe and then sign up for a class and join the most-fun-classroom-ever online for Jewish girls (in our humble opinion)! #1 Become a JGU volunteer. Click here to apply.
4How many girls are users?
We have approximately 600 users, and with your help we will soon have 6000 users and we will keep growing one by one.
5What is the forum?
Our JGU Forum is a safe space for Jewish girls of all ages--and their moms and supporters!--to share their own inspiration using methods and a medium of their own choosing. If you’re a writer--write a blog post! If you’re a musician-share an MP3 for great exposure! If you’re a cook-share a recipe complete with pictures along the way! If you’re an artist, share your art and your inspiration. Whatever you can conceive, we want to support! Please note there are guidelines for the Forum about which we are very strict. We must keep it a safe and meaningful place for our girls to go online.
6Can I try out a class before I commit?
Yes! Please just ask us! We have a special guest code that we will send you once you logon and join the JGU community For girls under the age of 14 we encourage a parent to join you to see what the fun is all about because we KNOW you will be talking about it non-stop after the class!
7I used to get Yaldah magazine. Do you still have a physical magazine?
We LOVE Yaldah! There is no longer a physical magazine, but you can find many archived articles in our blog section. JGU’s forum is like a live Yaldah magazine all the time! We hope that you’ll become one of our newest contributors for this new online forum.
8Can women sign up?
Yes! Jewish girls and women of all ages are welcome to join the fun, register, contribute your own inner light to the forum, write blog posts, speak to our classes, volunteer in so many ways, and of course to make gifts to support our Jewish girls now and into the future. We hope that you will consider helping to perpetuate the meaningful legacy of our own Matriarchs by joining one of our monthly giving groups! Click here to see how easy it is, it will feel great, we promise!
9If we’re a Jewish organization serving girls, can we benefit from supporting JGU?
Our underlying philosophy is that "a rising tide lifts all ships". This philosophy is built into the DNA of JGU. In fact, JGU grew out of the partnership of Jewish Girls Retreat and Yaldah magazine. We know that our girls benefit from multiple influences in various ways. They multi-task and have energy and excitement about many different things. Our impact is an online community, educating, inspiring and motivating girls to take action now about things they care about--which may be your organization! Our belief system is that There Is Enough--enough energy, love and spirit to go around to benefit all of our organizations together to best benefit ‘our’ girls! Strategically and specifically we have seen every person and organization that has joined with us grow themselves!
10What is a JGU meetup?
A JGU meet-up is where two or more people get together to have FUN thinking about and talking about supporting all Jewish girls everywhere......a gathering that does not discriminate based on who you are, how you practice or what you look like......a place to CELEBRATE and find your inner strength and shine your inner light....What is your inner light? Get together with a friend and talk about it, share it, figure out how to help Jewish girls have that same light, explore their Judaism and find love of G-d....and there's your JGU meet-up!! To find out more about arranging a meet-up, click here.
11How can I get involved and write for JGU?
Jewish girls are welcome to submit their writing all the time. You can also check our our latest contest , or share your writing on our forum. If you'd like to apply for a volunteer position, please click here.
12How should I invite my friends to join?
Simply tell them how much you love JGU, and invite them to sign up at www.JewishGirlsUnite.com!

Our Team

Nechama Laber

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.

Rabbi Avraham Laber

Chief Financial Officer


Rabbi Avraham Laber received Smicha from the central Lubavitch Yeshiva in Brooklyn. In September 1996, he became the Rabbi of Beth Tephilah Synagogue. He is also a historian specializing in early American Jewry. He is the founder of the website Jewish Data and is the director of Chabad of S. Rensselaer County and the Jewish Girls Retreat.

Susan Axelrod, CFRE, PFR

Strategic Consultant


Susan has 30 years of experience as a fundraising executive, consultant and coach for worthy organizations, nonprofit leaders and emerging development professionals. She specializes in strategic thinking and helps organizations create lasting connections with their donors to facilitate meaningful relationships and purposeful gifts.

Leah Caras

Graphic Designer & Webmaster


Leah Caras is the founder of Yaldah magazine, which she published for eight years. Leah has received awards including Next Step Magazine’s ‘Super Teen’, Microsoft’s Start Something Amazing Award, and Tzivos Hashem’s ‘Power of Children’. She also founded her own graphic design business, Carasmatic Design, which she runs with her husband.

Rabbi Yosef Resnick

Online Classroom Facilitator


Rabbi Resnick has been involved in Jewish education for over 15 years. He has degrees in Jewish studies and in music and has a Master's in Education, with a focus on educational leadership. He is the founder of Room613.net, an online Jewish homeschooling platform. Rabbi Resnick lives in the Boston area with his wife, Yael, and their five children, whom they have been homeschooling in various configurations for over a decade.
Click here to find out about the JGU writers.

Volunteers

Rachel Grunberger
Miriam Chava Kramer
Chaya Shusterman
Deborah Gold

Founders

Rabbi Avraham & Mrs. Racheli Jacks
Mr. Ory & Mrs. Linda Schwartz
Mr. Steve & Mrs. Hollee Parker
Mr. Yehudah & Pamela Newman
Mr. Artie & Mrs. Nanette Brenner
Mr. Yehudah & Mrs. Anne Chakoff
Mr. Mark & Deborah Sessel
Dr. Warren & Mrs. Elena Silverman
Mr. Shmuel & Mrs. Gittel Laber
Rabbi Mayer & Mrs. Neomi Gniwisch

Alumni Committee

Tova Steinmetz
Chavie Resnick
Chana Pinkwas
Tzippy Winterfield
Ariella Sapoznik
Rivkie Chesney
Chava Sneiderman
Samara Harris
Shprintza Gutnik
Mushky Fuchs
Blumi Mishulovin
Devorah Serraf
Devorah Schulman
Helena Rosenstrauch

Creative Committee

Chanie Gourarie
Evelyn Kreiger
Chaya-Bracha Rubin
Ashley Nesenoff
Shayndel Plotkin
Hilary Buff
Rivkah Leah
Chana Wasserman
Leah Wasserman
Emunah Sohn
Chaya Way
Mirele Rosenberger
Darcy Rus Devorah Wallen
Sara Esther Crispe
Orit Taksir

Outreach Committee

Leah Namdar
Chanie Fogelman
Blumah Wineberg
Chani Silverman
Devorah Pinson
Sorah Shemtov
Hindy Rosenberg
Rivky Klein
Dini Greenberg
Chaya Teldon
Sara Leah Eber
Sara Pevzner
Chanie Diskin
Devorah Shmotkin
Helena Herman
Malkie Marrus
Mina Eisenbach
Shterny Lipsker
Chany Vaknin
Goldie Plotkin
Sara Bluming
Basie Gurkov
Mrs. Goodman
Dini Scheiner
Maryashie Deren
Chanie Kotlarsky
Esty Greenberg
Sara Raskin
Ita Raskin
Chanie Kotlarsky
Rabbinical Advisor: Rabbi Israel Rubin, Dean of Maimonidies Hebrew Day School, Albany