Teens Seek Something Greater than Themselves

Jan. 23, 2012

Souce: eJewish Philanthropy


In response to recently released studies and articles on the prevalence of “dropping out” of Jewish life of Jewish teens following the bar/bat mitzvah experience, Matt Grossman, executive director of BBYO Inc., posits that giving Jewish teens a chance to feel a part of something greater than themselves can draw them back into Jewish experiences and identity.

He suggests a number of approaches to increasing teen engagement that should be adopted by Jewish communities:

  • Bring together the things that teens love to do – have fun, meet new people, travel, perform, volunteer, serve, explore, learn – in packages that are collaborative in nature, devoid of institutional stigmas and bearing minimal adult fingerprints.
  • Use messaging that is organic, authentic, simple, clear and teen inspired.
  • Offer welcoming and relevant access points that span the human and digital realms.
  • Enable participants to move seamlessly through experiences while staying connected to a community of peers, whether they be traveling to Israel, participating in summer leadership programs, engaging in service projects, celebrating Shabbat, or just hanging out.
  • Ensure that the common threads connecting these experiences are the character of the people involved and the values that define the community.
  • Provide leadership from adults and teens themselves who are capable of shining a light on the participants while encouraging them to do great things.

Read the entire post on eJewish Philanthropy.

Updated: Jan. 31, 2012