Next Generation Engagement: How to Foster Jewish Identity and Jewish Community Building in Teens and Young Adults

Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Social Innovation (M.A.)

Degree Program

School of Community Leadership & Development

First Advisor

Coeli Fitzpatrick

Second Advisor

Azfar Hussain

Academic Year



Reform Temples across the United States are exploring how to instill a love of Judaism and a love of place in the hearts and minds of young Jews that leads to lifelong observance and Temple membership. This work is especially challenging for small synagogues and for Jewish communities in areas of the United States that are not Jewishly dense. This practical guide outlines best practices for youth and young adult engagement for small Reform synagogues. This guide includes:

  • The importance of embracing an abundance mindset
  • How the tenets of "relational Judaism" connect to this mission in engagement
  • Michigan Jewish engagement as a model
  • Identified best practices for both teen and young adult engagement
  • Programming ideas and successes when utilizing best practices
  • How to prioritize the scalability and long-term flourishing of engagement work

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