Emotions Matter

Teen Advisory Board Members Cali Kircher,  Amelia Verderosa, and Athena Bason with presenters Shauna Tominey and Kathryn Lee after the Emotions Matter event.


Board member Kaline Kelly in Nepal visiting youth and NYF President Som Paneru.


The Foundation Board and guests on retreat at the Omega Institute in May of 2016.


The Vanaver Youth Caravan perform at the Candle and the Heart concert on April 17, 2016


The finale of the Candle and the Heart concert on April 17, 2016

Our Concert Steering Committee is finalizing plans for the Candle and the Heart concert. Not shown: Rabbi Jonathan Kligler

The Foundation is now supporting the Empowering Freed Kamlaris Program through the Nepal Youth Foundation.  These young women were rescued from the Kamlari system and are now attending college in Kathmandu under the auspices of the Nepal Youth Foundation.

New Paltz teens working on an art project for the Candle and the Heart concert on April 17, 2016.

A group of SUNY New Paltz students are working with the Foundation to conduct teen focus groups.


On February 7, 2016, our first Board meeting took place in New Paltz.


On October 16, teens in New Paltz organized a vigil. Shir Yaakov held the space for us.


From Maya’s dear friend Ana, read at Maya’s funeral:

This past summer, you and I met up at the Omega Institute so we could hang out and grab lunch. It was a beautiful day, nice weather; really hot but there was a slight breeze.  We decided to take a canoe out onto the lake so we had privacy to talk.  We guided the canoe to the center and paddled in circles.  We wanted to be isolated; just the two of us in the middle of this huge lake.  We talked for about three hours, and near the end we decided we needed our own word. A word that could be said when you knew how I felt, and I knew exactly how you felt. So we made up that word by saying random letters back and forth and seeing what we created. I started with R, you said O, I said C, and you finished with A. Roca. It’s our code word that means, “I hear you, me too, I know how you feel, I’m there for you.” Everyone in this room has something in common.  It’s that we all love Maya, we love her family, and we love the community she lives in.  On one level or another, we can all find something that connects us. Many of us are feeling the same hurt and overwhelming emotions, so today and in the days to follow, when feelings are being exchanged and you’re at a loss for words, say Roca and give ’em a smile.


Maya Gold on the Ganges River, Varanassi, India, 2014