Five years ago, the three Reform Synagogues in the Metropolitan New Orleans Area, each with their own unique, rich and glorious histories faced a common problem: their youth groups had shrunk to an unsustainable size. The synagogues each had a volunteer advisor who worked diligently to recruit and publicize their events. However, they were unable to get critical participation numbers, and the investment was outweighing the returns.
When I arrived at Beth Israel of San Diego four years ago, a congregational task force on youth engagement was wrapping up their short-term assignment to address some key concerns: dissatisfaction with post b'nai mitzvah retention, lack of communication, lack of connectedness of youth and their families and the lack of organized events to bring our youth together. Read more>
Tivnu: Building Justice is a new organization based in Portland, Oregon. Tivnu is proud to partner with URJs Mitzvah Corps Portland this summer, and, this fall Tivnu is launching the first stateside Jewish gap year program. We believe that it is important for Jews to engage in social justice work not just as individuals, but as representatives of the Jewish community in partnership with other communities.