The Jewish Educational Trade School (JETS) is a yeshiva for bochurim who want to learn a trade while being in a yeshiva environment.
Founded by Rabbi Mayer Schmukler of Los Angeles, the yeshiva is based in Granada Hills, California and provides an alternative to the regular Yeshiva setting.
The JETS Creative Wing, launched this year, aims to help the students aged 16-20 discover and develop their talents in music, cinematography, photography, theater, dance and art.
The program, the first of its kind within the Jewish Orthodox world of education, is literally life-changing for the teens who attend JETS, who may not have been appreciated or encouraged at their former yeshivas.
“The JETS creative wing saved my life, and helped me to confidently step out of my box and achieve tremendous goals,” says student Dovid Vingart in a video about program. “Thank you for revealing and developing my musical talents,” he said.
Rabbi Zalmy Raksin, co-director of the program, said, “I realized years ago that entertainment is a very powerful way to help and educate the world, by teaching morals in a fun and exciting way.”
JETS has launched an Indiegogo fundraiser campaign a few days ago, which has been gaining traction, raising over $2,000 since its opening.
The campaign was launched to help support the program’s music recording studio and video and photo studio.
Both are in need serious upgrades to keep up to date with the demand and growth of the school’s current and future students, the program’s co-director Menachem Weinstein says.
“We are running now on donated old equipment with limited functionality,” says Weinstein. “With new equipment we will be able to produce great, regular and Kosher material for the entertainment Industry, while also giving the students a venue to develop their talents,” he said.