L'Taken is a delegation based program. Please be in touch with your congregation/group organizer to find out your L'Taken Seminar date and due date to complete the registration. 

Chaperones play an integral role in the overall L'Taken experience. Your year-round work with your teens to get them to L'Taken, engaging them in Jewish communal life, and hard work recruiting is what allows us to run each seminar. We truly could not run L'Takenwithout your partnership and support.

See below for important information about being a chaperone at L'Taken. 

"L'Taken, once again, was profoundly inspiring for my students! My two young women who attended focused and lobbied on Mental Health issues. They are so empowered to know their "voice is powerful" that we have helped them create a mental health symposium featuring their personal story, a mental health professional, myself, and a one of their parents." -Rabbi Glenn Ettman, Congregation Or Ami, Lafayette Hill, PA 

Check back soon for dates to register for Chaperone Information Sessions, held on Zoom, in the months leading up to L’Taken.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

First and foremost, the role of L'Taken chaperones is overseeing the health and safety of your participants and directly supervising them.

In a nutshell, your role as a chaperone during the L'Taken seminar has three parts:

First, we ask that you make every effort to ensure your students' attendance and participation in all aspects of the program, including meals. Our programming is designed to follow an arc that prepares participants for their meetings on Capitol Hill on Monday. It is vital to their experience that they are present for programs. This includes three off-site field trips into D.C., when you will be responsible for supervising your participants. Please note that you will also be responsible for any night time supervision of your students.

Second, please strive to help your participants get the most out of the seminar by facilitating group discussions and informal conversations that give them a chance to contextualize what they are learning. Your students will not all be at the same programs at the same time. By checking in with them one-on-one and as a group, you will help them integrate their experiences into a broader understanding of social justice as both an American ideal and a core Jewish value.

Third, roll up your sleeves and help out! You will be given the chance to support the RAC's program staff and Legislative Assistants in their programming, and we ask that you volunteer for at least one or two of these opportunities. Our staff puts a great deal of effort into creating high-level programming that is dynamic and informative. For many of these programs to run at their optimal level, we need help from chaperones to role play, lead discussions, and facilitate activities.

We could not run L'Taken without our dedicated chaperones! Thank you for all that you do!

You should generally be following the same schedule as your participants. Since part of your responsibilities include making sure your teens attend programming, you should be visible and present, participating alongside your teens.

Program Roles

In order to effectively run our programs, we need your help! You will have the opportunity to volunteer for roles during some of our elective and all-group programs. You will be able to choose topics that interest you, a program where most of your students are going, etc. These roles will be chosen on-site during the Friday chaperone meeting. Some roles will also be pre-assigned, and you will get them with your arrival packet.

Each role will have a chaperone guide with a set of instructions. Feel free to ask any staff member if you have questions about the program you are helping to run.

If you don't have a specific role during your program, you should feel free to participate and help out in a program as needed.

Thanks in advance for your partnership!

Offsite Time

See below for more information about your role during offsite timing.

Delegation Debriefs

On Sunday morning andeach night at L'Taken, there are chunks of time for you to spend just as a delegation. You can use this time to debrief the day, plan offsite time, do your own programming, or anything else you need to do.

Please note: All delegation debrief must take place in public spaces of the hotel, on the lower levels. It is not appropriate to gather in a student or chaperone hotel room.

Night-Time

As part of your role as a chaperone, you are responsible for the health, safety, and well-being of the teens in your care. This includes making sure that they remain in their assigned hotel rooms and get a good night's sleep. We strongly suggest that you remain in the hallway for 30-45 minutes past "Lilah Tov" so your students understand that they must remain in their assigned rooms. This responsibility can be shared by other chaperones in your delegation, or with others on the same floor as you.

See the sample weekend schedulefor more details! 

Please see our detailed transportation information.

Friday arrival:

  • All groups are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the Washington, DC, area. Groups are also responsible for arriving to the program hotel on their own. The costs associated with this travel are not included in the published program fees. Please see our detailed transportation information .
  • Our programming officially begins at 6PM on Friday. If your group is arriving early and would like to store bags before venturing out into the city, the front desk of the hotel will be able to help store your luggage.

Local Transportation during the weekend and Monday departure:

  • If you are not traveling with your own bus to L'Taken, the RAC provides ground transportation throughout the weekend for an additional charge. This fee includes transportation around the DC area on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and transportation from Capitol Hill back to your departing location.

All participants and chaperones will stay at the hotel where your seminar is hosted.  The primary contact for your delegation will submit housing arrangements via your group’s forms.

Meals included in the price of a L'Taken weekend:

  • Friday Dinner
  • Saturday Breakfast and Lunch
  • Sunday Breakfast and Lunch
  • Monday Breakfast
  • Additional Meals

Saturday and Sunday dinners take place in Georgetown and Pentagon Row, an outdoor shopping area near the hotel. Both locations include a variety of restaurant choices from fast food to upscale sit-down. We suggest your students bring between $15 and $30 for each of these meals.

Monday lunch takes place on Capitol Hill in one of the several cafeterias in the House and Senate office buildings. Participants should budget $10-20 for this meal.

Dietary Restrictions

In accordance with URJ policy, dairy and meat products will not be served together at meals throughout the L'Taken weekend. The hotel facilities and meat products served at the hotel are not kosher. We offer accommodations for various dietary restrictions including but not limited to: vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. If you have questions about dietary needs, please reach out to the L'Taken team: LTaken@rac.org or (202) 387-2800.

We are happy to accommodate participants with a variety of dietary needs. Please contact us with this information at least a month before the seminar.

The Religious Action Center seeks to accommodate participants and chaperones with a variety of physical, emotional, learning, cognitive, or other needs throughout our program.

As your delegation begins its planning process for L'Taken, please reach out to the L'Taken team. Together with your delegation, we will develop a plan for individual participants that will allow them to have a successful, meaningful L'Taken experience."

Please reach out to the L'Taken team: LTaken@rac.org or (202) 387-2800 to discuss accessibility at L'Taken.

Download a suggested packing list.

Weather in Washington, DC in the winter is cold. Please pack weather appropriate clothing, including a warm jacket, hats and gloves. 

Friday Night

Dress on Friday night varies. Some participants chose to dress up for Kabbalat Shabbat and services, but it is not required

Saturday and Sunday

On Saturday and Sunday, participants wear casual clothes. Large parts of the days are spent outside, so be sure to pack winter jackets and be prepared to wear layers!

Monday

For the Monday congressional appointments, everyone must wear professional business attire. Again, significant portions of the day are spent walking around Capitol Hill outside, and we encourage everyone to dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes.

Optional

Participants spend Sunday night writing speeches that they deliver in their congressional offices. Students are strongly encouraged to bring laptop computers or other devices that they can use during the writing and editing process. The RAC will provide printers for final versions of the speeches. We cannot be responsible for damage to, or loss of, any electronic equipment participants bring to the L'Taken Seminar.

SCHEDULING LOBBY VISITS

The L'Taken and RAC team works hard to schedule lobby visits for everyone attending L'Taken. You do not need to schedule lobby visits for your teens. We will occasionally reach out to ask for your assistance in contacting offices, and will be as transparent as possible in the process of scheduling the visits.

A DAY ON THE HILL

A typical day will go as follows:

  • 10:00 AM - Senate Visit 1
  • 11:00 AM - Senate Visit 2
  • Picture in front of the Capitol Building with the RAC Banner
  • Lunch on the House Side
  • 1:00 PM - House visits
  • 2:00 PM - L'Taken Wrap-Up on the House Side

While we do our best to schedule visits to meet this timeline, this is not a guarantee . We are often constrained by the meetings offered to us by the offices and their availability.

Your role is to accompany teens to their meetings, help them navigate the Hill, encourage stimulating conversation with Hill staffers, and make sure your students feel comfortable, confident, prepared, and - most of all - have fun!

Some groups choose to pre-plan the time for their participants, and others decide the day-of. If you would like resources for planning offsite meals, museum visits, etc. please email us at LTaken@rac.org.

Please note: Our official policy is that teens remain with their chaperones during all offsite time.

The Religious Action Center's L'Taken Social Justice Seminars have been made possible through the generosity of:

  • Bernard and Audre Rapoport
  • The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation
  • The Gus and Barbara Kuhn Fund
  • The Robert Sillins Family Foundation
  • Richard and Lois England
  • The Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • The Righteous Persons Foundation