New engagement pilots for young adults!
For years, USCJ has focused on engaging synagogue leaders and teens. But many people today, especially adults in their 20’s and 30’s, don’t affiliate with synagogues. Newer generations of adults deserve opportunities to find meaning and relevance from Jewish community, wisdom, and tradition. We need to meet their evolving needs and interests in ways that work for them as individuals with unique life journeys.
To meet that need, USCJ’s Department of Engagement is piloting several projects that aim to connect emerging adults (i.e. first few years after high school) to Jewish experiences, resources, and relationships that can be valuable for them during this stage of life.
Here you will find a few of our recent pilot programs.
Nova Summer Network: This Summer 2023! The Nova Summer Network is an 8-week experiential cohort supported by Mason Hillel to supplement young adults’ summer jobs or internships with professional development, Jewish learning, and social events!
Nova Summer Network is open to all Jewish college-aged young adults who will be in Northern Virginia with a summer job or internship. You can learn more about the cohort and frequently asked questions here.
ADL, Project Shema, and USCJ hosted a conversation about how to productively navigate discussions around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and slow the spread of anti-Jewish ideas when they present themselves. Check out the resources (linked here) that can help you:
Many young adults are looking to make a significant impact on social justice topics they’re passionate about. USCJ is offering a community organizing class through JOIN for Justice with other Movement partners. This online class offers strategies to help Jewish leaders effectively work with their community to build a more just world.
The class will run on Tuesdays (with optional Thursdays) from April 18 – June 1, 2023 (with holiday breaks), with both live meetings and pre-recorded videos. All are welcome to register, and Jewish leaders 30 and under receive a special registration rate of $36 plus they are eligible for a micro-grant up to $500 for a justice project after completion of the class.
Don’t Kvetch, Organize! Learn more about this class here.
OPEN DOORS CAMPAIGN
Offering Recent High School Graduates Ongoing Connection to Jewish Community
For recent high school graduates from the last few years (2018-2022)…
Are you venturing to college, joining the military, taking a gap year, building your career or something in between? What doors can we open for you? Take part in this brief survey so we can help you connect with your nearest Jewish community and other valuable resources or opportunities. Submit your Open Doors survey here.
SUMMER IN THE CITY PROJECT WITH THE JEWISH THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Connecting late teens/early 20s to rabbinical students to create Jewish community and experiences together
Using a combination of relational engagement and community organizing practices, two rabbinical students from the Jewish Theological Seminary engaged people in their late/teens early 20s staying in the Washington DC Metro area including Northern Virginia this summer. Some people had long-standing connections to our Movement, but many were not involved in their Jewish communities growing up and others chose Judaism recently. The rabbinical students helped facilitate Jewish connection and community with people in this transient stage of life who were seeking egalitarian Jewish experiences and learning opportunities. The interest and needs are high, and we were grateful to fill an unmet need since the organized Jewish community typically has few options for this population during the summer months.
The pilot program, Summer in the City, brought together a pair of rabbinical students from JTS with young adults in the Washington DC area to build Jewish connections and communities!
USCJ & RA partnership with Onetable
In 2022, the RA-USCJ Joint Innovation Fund invested in a research project with OneTable to learn about the experiences and opinions of young adults with connections to the Conservative Movement. Our research focused on young adults ages 21-39 and included both a quantitative study (survey) and focus groups.
Learn more about the project here!
Read more about the findings here!
OUR PEOPLE & PARTNERS:
Racial Justice Specialist, Gulienne Rollins-Rishon ([email protected])
Exploring Judaism: https://exploringjudaism.org/
A new digital space for articles, stories and resources as they relate to Conservative Judaism.
USY Alumni: https://www.usy.org/alumni
Connect with your USY friends and community and participate in fun events, meaningful learning experiences, nostalgic reunions, important giving opportunities and much more.
Interested in spending a gap year in Israel? Check out Nativ, USCJ’s gap year program for Jewish high school graduates, dedicated to creating and inspiring the Conservative Jewish leaders of tomorrow.
Reshet Ramah: https://www.campramah.org/reshetramah
The alumni and community network of Camp Ramah, Reshet Ramah provides past camp participants access to alumni events, job boards, the Ramah College Network, and more!
Masorti on Campus: https://www.masorticampus.org/
Dedicated to creating inclusive Jewish spaces on college campuses, Masorti on Campus provides opportunities to practice traditional-egalitarian Judaism in meaningful ways.
Keshet helps equip Jewish organizations with the skills and knowledge to build LGBTQ-affirming communities; create spaces in which all queer Jewish youth feel seen and valued; and advance LGBTQ rights nationwide. View some of their resources and events!
Interested in learning how to combat antisemitism on your campus or community, whether it’s advocating with the ADL, attending their event, bringing them to your campus or community, there are many ways to get involved.