Emerging Young Adult Initiatives

Today's Jewish community provides a surplus of alternative and personalized ways to "be" Jewish. As a result, many young adults in their 20s and 30s are living their Judaism outside the walls of denominational synagogue life. Realizing that traditional methods of engagement are no longer effective, Reform congregations must think creatively and experiment with innovative partners and young adults to co-create new on-ramps into communal life.

The URJ Emerging Young Adult Initiatives Community of Practice brought together congregations interested in starting or significantly enhancing their efforts with this cohort from January 2013-June 2014. It was comprised of eight congregations that shared a concern and passion for 20s and 30s engagement together and sought to advance current strategies. Through participation over the 18-month process, the leaders learned together about key challenges and opportunities of young adult engagement, studied best principles from across the field, and identified and executed a pilot experiment to scale-up their efforts at home.

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

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