Josh Eghbalieh has always had leadership energy to him and a desire to make a difference. This past Sunday Josh represented Santa Monica as the local CTeen leader at the Southern California CTeen Leadership Training Program in Pacific Palisades. 

CTeen of Santa Monica, a branch of CTeen International, the world’s leading Jewish youth network, is one of the most active Jewish teen groups on the west side. The members of CTeen-Santa Monica, have created a place for the teens to belong, and a space which celebrates Jewish pride, holidays, and giving back to the community.

Every year, “CTeeners” are chosen from each city to be the leaders of their respective chapters. The leaders of every region attend a training and development course where they learn from great lecturers, previous leaders, and fellow teens. The topics are carefully designed to give over what it takes to be an effective Jewish leader in today’s times addressing instilling Jewish identity, marketing, public speaking, motivating the unmotivated, and so much more. The program also marks the Jewish Year of Gathering, known by the Hebrew name Hakhel. 

“I had lots of fun learning about what it means to be a leader and how I can develop that for the coming year,” said Josh. Rabbi Menachem Levitansky, the local CTeen co-director, helped coordinate the event. “Our goal is that the teenagers themselves should take the initiative. We want to empower our youth to be creative in their style and fashion. Herein is the greatest work of the leaders. They are tuned to what would engage their social groups, but are also instilled with a higher purpose to gather Jewish kids together and create a warm community. I feel blessed to be working with them,” said Levitansky.

To find out more information about Jewish teen programs on the west side, visit or call 310-994-3532.

Submitted by Shmaya Hecht

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