Today is January 22, 2020 -

Relationships at the Heart of Jewish Community

Sometimes change in Jewish community is painfully slow. Sometimes it takes us by storm.

Ten years ago, “engagement” was barely on the Jewish agenda. If we thought about it, we framed it as “outreach,” as bringing people to us.

Now, engagement seems be a leading concept in Jewish life—and that’s true in the Federation movement as well, where more Federations than not employ engagement professionals.
But engagement is much bigger than organizations and job descriptions. At its core, it is about helping Jews anywhere to develop a relationship with Judaism. PJ Library and Honeymoon Israel have shown us how many Jews unconnected from Jewish life are interested in exploring their tradition. New spiritual communities are flourishing, inventive and attracting the unaffiliated. And Moishe House and OneTable are prooftexts for the magic that happens when young Jews get to build Jewish life for themselves.

Engagement is a framework for working in Jewish community differently, for leading organizations differently—for approaching every single relationship with every donor and community member differently.
Check out our updated blog, where we bring you the story of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York. President and CEO Robert Kovach offers a picture of their Federation that engages—and how their Federation that engages builds an engaged Jewish community.

Beth Cousens, PhD
Associate Vice President, Jewish Education & Engagement

Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York

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