Inspired Engagement

Inspired Engagement

Group of people of varying ethnicities standing together and smiling outdoors while holding instruments as at an event or party

It’s easy to talk about diversity, but pulling it off can be elusive. Based on my experiences, offer reflections about what has worked for me – and might work for you!

Deborah Fishman
Three fingers with smiling faces written on them on an orange background

Our temple boards simply cannot be successful if the leaders on the board, reporting committees, and task forces are not engaged.

Larry Glickman, FTA
  1. How have you engaged your community around youth? We have always had a successful and vibrant youth program, and it continues to grow.

Today’s studies and statistics provide proof that engaged youngsters become actively practicing Jewish adults. While practicing remains a matter of degree, anyone who has worked with young people recognizes that relationships built during these formative years facilitate engagement long after the conclusion of temple youth group days. Creating those relationships requires incredibly dedicated adults who see significant value and promise in their work with young people.

But creating a nurturing environment for relationships to flourish requires thoughtful, sometimes subtle planning. There are best practices. There are pitfalls to avoid. How can someone new to youth work gain insights? How can someone who has been working with teens for years be rejuvenated and re-inspired?

If you work with Jewish youth and are asking yourself these questions, I propose you attend the URJ Youth Summit at NFTY Convention in Atlanta, February 13-17. You will have the opportunity to meet like-minded peers, and build professional relationships to share the agonies and ecstasies of youth work!

The powerful roll out of the newest implementation steps of the Campaign for Youth Engagement at the recent URJ Biennial in San Diego has generated excellent feedback and momentum. Our Reform movement-wide approach is called Inspired Engagement, a transformative teen and young adult network, which integrates diverse program offerings into one seamless year-round matrix in order to increase access to, and promote lifelong participation in, the joys of Jewish living.

Here are some of the exciting specifics...