18, Los Altos High School Palo Alto, CA
Before Allan Feldman, Jewish teen-life in Los Altos was pretty boring. That all changed when Rabbi Zalman Levin proposed the groundbreaking idea of forming a “local community of Jewish teens.” Excited to begin his first year in high school, Allan jumped at the opportunity. And the rest is history.
Little did he know he’d be thrown into a network of thousands of teens he didn’t know. It was the best decision of his life.
In the beginning, Allan knew nothing about high school, much less about being a leader for other high schoolers. From hamantaschen bakes to a chocolate-themed Seder, Allan planned and developed ideas for every single event over the past 4 years. Additionally, he created roles for the entire leadership board, led his group to 3 International Shabbatons, and formed a local CTeen U cohort. When the pandemic hit, Allan kicked-off JQ Live, a virtual program for teens to talk, play games, and ask their Rabbi and Rebbetzin absolutely anything.
It may come as no surprise that Allan himself is highly driven by inquisitiveness and initiative. Ultimately, this drive has allowed his chapter to be largely teen-led and collaborative. During his time as leader, he frequently connected with other chapters across the globe to learn how they do things differently. In fact, the smash-hit chocolate-themed seder was inspired by Cteen Palo Alto.
“It’s hard to leave this all behind,” he says. “But I’m excited to see how the next leaders of our chapter will shape its future. It’s gonna be amazing.”