Moving Our Future Forward at Biennial 2015

The Reform Movement’s Biennial gathering is a prime opportunity to advance your community’s youth engagement work. Join colleagues, lay partners, and – for the first time, more than a hundred teen leaders as part of a High School Cohort – for immersive learning, networking, and celebration. Whether you’re a first-timer looking to experience a taste of everything, or a returning attendee looking for a fresh perspective on a familiar topic, the following are three unique highlights to look forward to.

Learning Sessions

Every track at Biennial will have sessions led by experts showcasing best practices in youth engagement. The sessions will allow you to bring your own innovations and come together to workshop ideas you may be grappling with. View the full schedule on the Biennial website, with sessions such as:

  • Innovative Models of Synagogue-Based Youth Engagement
  • Beyond Bathroom Signs: Creating a Culture of Inclusion
  • B’nai Mitzvah Innovations: Stories from Congregational Leaders


You and your team will be able to connect with professionals from across the Movement, experts in the field, URJ staff, HUC-JIR faculty, and others to share successes, challenges and make plans for further collaboration. Opportunities include:

  • Reception with alumni and staff of URJ Youth Programs
  • Reception with the Reform Youth Professionals Association (RYPA)
  • Meet and greet with URJ Youth programs staff in the Exhibit Hall

Youth Social Action Symposium

How can we harness the power of teen spirit, passion, and drive to seek justice in our world through strengthening our congregations and Jewish community?

On Friday afternoon, November 6, join the Religious Action Center (RAC) and the URJ Youth team for a symposium on youth engagement and social justice. Space is limited! Sign up for the Symposium in your Biennial registration, and join teens, professionals, and our slate of expert speakers as we discuss the positioning of the Reform Movement in making a difference. Learn more about the Symposium.

Bonus! Head to Kikar Biennial for an interactive museum exhibit focused on the impact of young Reform Jews through the years. Featuring archival material of more than 75 years of NFTY, camping, and congregational youth making headlines on social issues, the “Moving Our Future Forward” exhibit will inspire and empower you to help your teens become leaders.

Looking for more chances beyond the Biennial to advance youth engagement work in your community? Check out URJ Youth’s 2015-16 Calendar of Professional Development opportunities.

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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. 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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