Redoubling Our Efforts on Jewish Youth Engagement



Two years ago, the Campaign for Youth Engagement was launched at the URJ Biennial in Washington, DC. Our movement rallied around the cause and is engaging more youth and teens in our communities.

In 58 days we’ll be together again, this time in San Diego at Biennial 2013. We are excited to share plans to continue to expand and redouble our efforts. There will be opportunities for teens, parents, congregational leaders, youth engagement professionals, educators, and clergy to think, learn, collaborate, reflect, and continue to take action together:

  • Share in the findings of the youth engagement study and participate in the development and implementation of the plan
  • Attend the first-ever four-hour Youth Engagement Intensive, which will explore the pressing questions of our time, including:
    • How are young people blazing paths in the world?
    • What tools and techniques are necessary in a more youth-centered culture?
    • With teens searching for answers beyond the synagogue, how will the role of the youth practitioner change and how will it remain constant?
    • Is the concept of youth ministry one that can be successfully adapted to the Reform Movement?
  • Participate in learning sessions that will share successful strategies, generate conversation and inspire innovation in your congregation including:
    • Collaborative Innovation: Models of Camp-Congregation Partnership
    • Community of Practice: Experimenting with Innovative Approaches to Engaging Young Families
    • B’nai Mitzvah Revolution: Lessons Learned in the First Year
    • Service Learning: A Meaningful Tool for Engagement and Justice
    • A Journey of Transformation: Taking the “School” Out of “Religious School” and Beyond
  • Network with others committed to engaging the next generation
  • Reconnect with alumni of NFTY, camps, Israel programs, Mitzvah Corps, and all other URJ youth programs at the largest cohort gathering at the biennial
  • Bring teens with you to partake in the new NFTY Teens at Biennial experience, which has lowered the cost for teens with home-host options, and offers new opportunities to participate in both teen-only sessions and those on the Biennial schedule.

Join us. Continue the conversation. Biennial registration early bird deadline is this Friday, October 18. I look forward to seeing you in San Diego.

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Rabbi Bradley Solmsen

About Rabbi Bradley Solmsen

Bradley Solmsen serves as the North American Director of Youth Engagement for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). For eleven years Bradley served as Director of Brandeis University’s Office of High School Programs which includes BIMA, Genesis, and Impact: Boston. Rabbi Solmsen was ordained at The Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and received a masters degree in Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Bradley is currently pursuing a doctorate in Jewish education at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Davidson School. He has extensive experience as a Jewish educator in Israel and North America working with teenagers and college students and training Jewish educators. Bradley is married to Aliza Kline and is the proud abba of Ela, Gila and Nomi.

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