Adopted by the 71st URJ Biennial
The Reform Youth Professionals’ Association (RYPA) was founded in 2011 by 12 Youth Professionals working in Reform Movement settings. RYPA aspires to grow to represent Jewish Youth Professionals throughout North America. RYPA will advocate for having qualified Jewish youth professionals in every setting where there are Jewish children including congregations, camps, day schools, URJ staff, and community agencies.
RYPA will provide vision, leadership, education, friendship, support and advocacy for Jewish Youth Professionals so that growing numbers of Reform Jewish youth will actively engage in Jewish life. This effort to strengthen our interaction with Reform youth is also the focus of the URJ’s Campaign for Youth Engagement. The Campaign’s goal is to transform and strengthen the relationships between teens, their peers, their families, and their congregations. Doing so will require the strongest possible team of youth professionals, people who are able to connect and build relationships in synagogues, day schools, camps, and youth programs throughout North America with our Movement’s youth of today and leaders and members of tomorrow. RYPA will be a vital part of this effort.
To do this, RYPA will work to:
- Elevate the Kavod [status], quality, standards of practice, and compensation of Jewish youth professionals wherever they serve and lead.
- Create resources and support for youth professionals and for people considering a career as a Jewish youth professional.
- Create and sustain meaningful collaborative relationships among Jewish youth professionals and their collegial partners – professional and volunteer.
- Create meaningful and powerful learning and training experiences for Jewish youth professionals.
THEREFORE, the Union for Reform Judaism resolves to:
- Congratulate the Reform Youth Professionals’ Association (RYPA) on its founding and support its growth to become a future URJ affiliate;
- Recognize and applaud the important role of Jewish youth professionals in the building of Jewish community and the anticipated role of the Reform Youth Professionals’ Association in ensuring that youth engagement becomes an even higher priority within the Reform Movement;
- Encourage URJ congregations and institutions to support their Jewish youth professionals and to emphasize the importance of their active participation in RYPA.