Going for Broke in Vegas with a Birthright NEXT Idea Slam

December 18, 2013

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


In last October, a devoted group of local Las Vegas Birthrighters attended our first-ever Idea Slam, a space where young adults are empowered to not only generate ideas, but also to make them a reality. Over the course of the evening, participants schmoozed, ate dinner, and brainstormed new ways to engage with their peers, Judaism, and the local Las Vegas Jewish community. By evening’s end, they had generated over 100 ideas, voted on the top three that they wanted to see happen, and signed up to help actualize the ideas they liked best.


Key Takeaways of the Idea Slam

  • Birthrighters can teach us new ways to engage them. More than 90 percent of the ideas generated at the Idea Slam were for programs not currently offered in the Las Vegas community. All of the ideas that the Birthrighters voted up and are now working to make happen will be new opportunities, creating a more diverse web of engagement. When we create an intentionally open, creative and collaborative space for young adults to share their ideas, they will be more likely to innovate and dream up something new.
  • Their Birthright Israel experience inspired their ideas. Several of the ideas that surfaced at the Idea Slam evoked the activities Birthrighters experienced on their Israel trips. For example, several participants submitted an idea for a “reverse mifgash” program, through which Israelis who accompanied these Birthrighters on their buses during the mifgash portion of their Birthright Israel trips would come to visit the Las Vegas community.
  • The Idea Slam model is easily adaptable to fit the needs of any community. Las Vegas is a unique community, and we built Idea Slam to fit their needs. But in doing so, we realized that this model could easily work elsewhere. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether a community is large, small, well-resourced, under-capitalized, has a multi-generational Jewish history or whose Jewish population is recently emerging. With more than 280,000 Birthrighters living in communities across this country (including more than 7,000 who have created their own Jewish experiences for their peers with NEXT’s help), we know that there is an eager group of young adults looking to engage and continue their journey.

Read more at eJewish Philanthropy.

Updated: Jan. 01, 2014