Friday, 10 April 2015
Building up the Young Women
Several years ago at Adat Chaim (Lake Katrine, NY) we decided to supplement The Torah Party, our regular group for teens and twenties, with separate meetings for the young men (Brothers Living Torah) and the young women (TTP Gals Only). This gives us an opportunity to address topics specific to the needs of men and women and to discuss topics that are best not covered in a mixed group setting. It also provides an opportunity for the young men and the young women to deepen their relationships with each other.
TTP GO took a hiatus as the young women's schedules were overloaded with college and work. The L-rd spoke clearly to me over last summer that it was time to make room for those meetings to happen again regardless of what shedules looked like, so I heeded the call. We now aim to meet monthly or at least every 6 weeks during seasons that really are too tight. About eight of our younger women regularly attend these special times together. There are a few occasions when we widen the scope of the group to invite those not regularly attending the congregation, but the primary focus is to build accountability and support relationships within the young women of the congregation. We expect outreach to be a direct result of these young women growing in the L-rd.
Several years were spent focusing on being equipped for whatever G-d might have in store for them in the future - topics such as pursuing further education, learning a trade, developing good personal habits, learning how to manage a household, and developing the talents and gifts you have. Now we are in a season of focusing specifically on the general call to marriage and family - attitudes about marriage and family, barriers to finding a suitable life partner, barriers to being one for someone else to find, developing skills related to marriage and family, and courtship.
In addition to our regular meetings, we have other activities suach as our annual TTP GO Sukkot Retreat. The young women spend 24-48 hours together at our home and sleep outside in our sukkah. These regular and special times of fellowship and deep sharing have built lasting changes into the lives of the young women involved. Learning how to relate to one another scripturally at these ages sets the stage for mature relationships as they become the older women. It is my hope and desire to see these young women learn and pass on the treasures of life in Messiah Yeshua l'dor v'dor.
Deb Lundgren, Adat Chaim