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October 13, 2015 | 30th Tishrei 5776

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The Journal of Youth Engagement is a forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor>

Why I Waste So Much Time Blogging About Youth Engagement
by Rabbi Paul Kipnes

According to the stats page, I have spent hundreds of hours writing and editing some 827 posts on my blog. I have "wasted" a vast majority of this time sharing stories and analyses about the intentional work of engaging our youth in Jewish life. Why? Read more >

The High Holidays are Coming: Don't Arrive with Empty Pockets
by Ira Miller

As adults who work with the youth of our congregations, we often dream about that incredible event where you open the doors and kids start flooding in. And while we may think this is just a far-off dream, this special event is coming to every single congregation across our Movement (and beyond). Read more >

Case Study: Teen Leadership Program at Temple Isaiah (Lexington, MA)
by Emily Messinger & Alicia McGee

Temple Isaiah of Lexington, MA has launched a new youth-directed learning experience with support from a URJ Incubator Grant. The purpose of the program, called TaMaR: Teen Mentoring and Responsibility, is to engage uninterested teens and build an even more vibrant community at Isaiah. Read more >

Toronto Reform Congregations Launch Community Chai School for Post-B'nai Mitzvah Students
by Marlene Myerson

In the "good old days," Toronto's six Reform congregations prided themselves on their successful teen programs. Virtually every student returned to religious school following their bar or bat mitzvah and remained in the program until Confirmation.

Fast forward to the present and the number of students has decreased significantly, the dropout rate following bar and bat mitzvah is devastatingly high, and the funds available have shurnk considerably. What happened to the good old days? Read more >

Learning to Love? Exploring Our Role in Israel Engagement
by Rabbi Mara Young

On Tu B'Av, the Jewish day of love, the URJ hosted a conversation on Israel engagement. I walked away with a new understanding of two potentially misdirected phrases: fostering a "love of Israel" and practicing "Israel engagement." On a day that promotes loving partnership, the question was on the table: how are we meaningful partners with Israel? Read more >

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