Today is January 22, 2020 -
Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
Four times annually, we host a very successful Joint Society Event. Approximately 200 people come out for each event to socialize, network, eat delicious food, and hear from engaging topical speakers. Our fifth and final event of the season is coming up on June 5th, and despite our historic success, the whole model is about to radically change, at least for that one night.
Nationally, Jewish communal leaders have been asking, “How do we engage the next generation?” We have learned that our young people want to engage, but they want to do so on their terms. They have contributions to make, but only if their voices are heard. So, we are listening. We have turned over the June 5th event exclusively to Federation’s Next Dor Cabinet (Young Adult Committee), to plan and execute as they think best.
How will this night be different from all other Federation nights?
1. On all other nights, we use lots of paper. We print; we mail; we leave literature on tables. Young adults hate this. They are environmentally conscientious. Don’t wait for a mailed invitation. You will not receive one. You can see us on Facebook and you will receive an e-mail and then you can register on-line. Or, you can click here to register now.
2. On all other nights, we hear about the Middle East Conflict. We hear about Iran, Isis, and extremism. Dayenu… On this night, we will hear about creating a Jewish community that will ensure that the next generation finds their place.
3. On all other nights, we dress in business or business casual attire. The young adults want to be casual. They’ve ordered t-shirts for the evening. I’ll wear a suit, because that’s what I do, but feel free to dress comfortably.
4. On all other nights, we quietly whisper to each other around our tables. On this night, we will have the opportunity to tweet out before and during the program. #myjewishcommunity.
For years, I have heard that there are no young Jews in our community. We’ve gone to our Jewish events, and not seen the young people. We therefore tried something new. We started going to the young people events and we’ve successfully found the Jews. If we really are interested in engaging the next generation, then this is our opportunity. Please register here and join me at Congregation Agudat Achim on June 5th at 6:00 PM.
Psychologist Dr. Dennis O’Grady said, “Change has a bad reputation in our society. But it isn’t all bad – not by any means. In fact, change is necessary in life – to keep us moving … to keep us growing … to keep us interested. … Imagine life without change. It would be static … boring … dull.”