Now Introducing Bonim Kehilah for Jewish Young Adults



Much has been written about millennials and how they’re constructing adult lives: They live at home longer, marry later, and are less likely to affiliate with political and religious institutions than ever before.

It follows that those young adults looking for sustained, meaningful Jewish engagement find few entry points into the current communal landscape. Without parents or Hillel to lead the way into Jewish social, educational, and leadership opportunities, many young adults who grew up engaged in Jewish programming lack a Jewish outlet in their adult lives. While many plan to join congregations once they start their own family, the road to significant Jewish engagement in the years between college and parenthood is less obvious. Taglit-Birthright Israel, Moishe Houses, and many other “next-gen” outreach programs provide introductory opportunities for young adults to engage Jewishly, but what do we offer those seeking higher-level opportunities for learning and leading?

The URJ is excited to pilot one such opportunity this year for young adults between the ages of 24-35 in New York City. We’re proud to introduce Bonim Kehilah (Builders of Community).

Bonim Kehilah, made possible through grant funding from UJA-Federation of New York, is a fellowship for young adults in their 20s and 30s who want to further explore and take action in the Jewish community. Ideal Bonim Kehilah fellows are individuals who want to help build meaningful Jewish community experiences for themselves and their peers in partnership with five New York-area synagogues.

The 10-month fellowship consists of monthly evening or full-day leadership training sessions and regular meetings with clergy mentors and congregational communities. Fellows can apply for mini-grants of $1,000-$3,000 to support ongoing young adult engagement projects in their communities.

Applicants should:

  • Be between the ages of 24 and 35
  • Be comfortable in Reform worship and programmatic settings
  • Be able to commit to attending all programmatic gatherings
  • Seek to network with like-minded peers
  • Want to help strengthen young adult community within Reform congregations
  • Desire to build a greater personal connection to Judaism and the Jewish community

All applicants will be required to submit an application and provide personal and professional references.

To apply, visit the Bonim Kehilah website at www.bonimkehilah.org or contact Caryn Roman with any questions.

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