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September 16, 2014 | 21st Elul 5774
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Emerging Young Adult Initiatives

Young adult initiatveToday's young adults have an array of opportunities to express their Judaism and get involved in Jewish communal life, making them increasingly invisible within synagogue walls. With limited staff and financial resources, congregations, in turn, struggle to engage this cohort successfully. Yet, without this cohort, the rich fabric of Reform Judaism's congregational communities is diminished and the sustainability of our future is endangered.

The URJ Emerging Young Adult Initiatives community of practice brings together congregations interested in starting or significantly enhancing their efforts with this cohort, but have not yet successfully done so.

The URJ Emerging Young Adult Initiative community of practice cohort is comprised of eight congregations that share a concern and passion for 20s and 30s engagement together and seek to advance current strategies. Each congregation team minimally includes one lay leader and one staff member. Through participation over the 18-month process, these leaders learn together about key challenges and opportunities of young adult engagement, study best principles from across the field and identify and execute a pilot experiment to scale-up their efforts at home.

Who We Are
University Synagogue Los Angeles, CA www.unisyn.org
Congregation Beth Israel San Diego, CA cbisd.org
Temple Shalom Newton, MA templeshalom.org
Temple Emanuel Kensington, MD templeemanuelmd.org
Temple Sinai Toronto, ON templesinai.net
Temple Rodeph Torah of Western Monmouth Marlboro, NJ trt.org
Temple Chai Phoenix, AZ templechai.com
Topics Covered
  • Exploring Best Principles & Trends in the Field
  • Discussing Broad Challenges
  • Leadership, Mission & Vision
  • Local Community Mapping
  • Building Your Base of Congregational Support
  • Financing Your Young Adult Initiative
  • Social Media & Communications
  • Network-Building & Peer Support
  • Drafting & Implementing an Engagement Initiative for their own Congregation
  • Sharing Measureable Results Widely
  • Succession-Planning

In the News

Staffing

  • Naomi Abelson, Associate Engagement Director - Young Adults, is the Primary Coordinator, nabelson@urj.org
  • Lisa Lieberman Barzilai, Co-Director, Expanding our Reach Community of Practice, is the Secondary Coordinator, lbarzilai@urj.org
 
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