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Journal of Youth Engagement

When Numbers Aren’t Everything: Defining Qualitative Success



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. By Michael Fuld Defining success is one of the key components to any organization. As a youth professional, when someone asks me, “How did the event go?” […]

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Journal of Youth Engagement

It Happened After Two Full Years (Genesis 41:1)



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. By Rabbi Jack P. Paskoff (While this article reflects the experience of my congregation, proper credit should be given to Rabbi Bennett Miller at the Anshe […]

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Journal of Youth Engagement

MINCHA: Committing to the Whole Teen



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. By Ellie Klein Goldman In the fall of 2013 Temple Shalom in Newton, MA launched a new weekly program for 7th and 8th graders called MINCHA.  […]

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Journal of Youth Engagement

Slam Dunk: Fantasy Sports as a Portal to New Youth Group Models



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. By Beryl Trauth-Jurman Fantasy Basketball. That is how Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston VA, decided to solve two problems. I had just started as the Youth […]

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URJ Launches Details of “Inspired Engagement” for Jewish Youth



The URJ unveiled a new strategy for engaging youth at its Biennial Convention in San Diego this past week. “Inspired engagement” – what the URJ is branding as its distinct way of engaging youth – emerged after an eight-month strategic planning process that included voices of more than 700 stakeholders from across the Jewish community […]

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The Songs of Your Youth and of the Reform Movement’s Youth



by Cantor Bradley Hyman At some point in a person’s life, they lose touch with the most current trends in popular music. To be clear, you will become your parents. You might make an effort to listen to radio stations or watch videos, which attempt to bring you closer in understanding why things are more […]

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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 […]

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Camp Chazak, Where Miracles Are All Around Us



by Stephen Weitzman Traditionally, the month of Elul is a period of self reflection for Jews who attempt to get closer to God. The tradition dates back to the time when Moses ascended Mt. Sinai for the second time after breaking the tablets because he believed the Israelites had violated their sacred relationship with God […]

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The Year In Youth Engagement



As we begin the year 5774, and reflect on the year that has passed and our aspirations for the year ahead, it is a time to check-in on our accomplishments and hopes for all that we want to achieve in youth engagement. Our six-month strategic planning process, funded with a matching grant from the Jim […]

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You Say You Want a (B’nai Mitzvah) Revolution?



We are hearing regularly from congregations who know that bar and bat mitzvah have tremendous potential and are thinking about challenging the assumptions of traditional b’nai mitzvah in search of more meaningful and transformative experiences and to help reduce the staggering rates of post-b’nai mitzvah dropout. The B’nai Mitzvah Revolution was launched a year ago […]

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At URJ Summer Youth Programs, the Heat is On!



As I write this, more than 12,000 youth, teens, college students, and young adults are participating in our summer programs. Our diverse summer line-up includes the URJ Camps, NFTY in Israel trips, NFTY-EIE High School in Israel, RAC Machon Kaplan college internship program and KESHER Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. Staffing these programs are more than 1,000 […]

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The Ice Cream Cone Approach to Youth Engagement



Recently, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of stories and photos of campers and counselors getting ready for their return to camp, their trip to Israel or their adventure with a service-learning program. I am so happy for all them. They are following a path that we, in the professional Jewish world, have […]

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Facing the Worst-Kept Synagogue Secret



Do you want to know the worst-kept synagogue secret? It is not about politics at the pulpit or the fact that most Jews do not regularly attend Shabbat services. No, the worst-kept synagogue secret is that almost 90% of the young people who become bar or bat mitzvah in our synagogues are absent from our […]

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What We’ve Learned from the Consultancy on Youth Engagement



Last fall, the URJ received a matching grant from The Jim Joseph Foundation to support the development of a strategic plan for youth engagement. Over the past four months we have been intensively working with two consulting firms to develop this plan: BTW informing change and The Center for Leadership Initiatives. The first phase of […]

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