Source: eJewish Philanthropy
Now is the time to seize the momentum of Jewish early engagement and provide consistent programming for Jewish families across the nation. Many of our young adults have benefited from national Jewish camping initiatives and the national Taglit Birthright program, and have started to solidify their Jewish identity. As our young adults marry and start to raise families, we must continue to help them using a national approach with the task of creating a Jewish home and raising Jewishly identifying children if we want to ensure the future of the American Jewish community.
One possibility for the Jewish community today is to determine how best to share our locally successful strategies of Jewish early engagement to even out the field so that regions that are not as successful can benefit from localized success in early engagement. The Jewish Early Engagement Forum (JEEF) has been established by Rachel Raz of the Early Childhood Institute of Hebrew College. JEEF builds upon conversations spanning two years about how to enable the architecture of a nationally uniform early engagement strategy for the American Jewish Community. This effort is built upon the work of the Alliance for Jewish Early Education, led by Ilene Vogelstein, that was comprised of professionals and focused only on Jewish early education. The Jewish Early Engagement Forum (JEEF) expands upon the Alliance for Jewish Early Education in two dimensions: first, the agenda has been broadened to include all early engagement programming; and secondly, the conversation now includes funders, researchers, foundations, and professionals.
Hebrew College plans to host a JEEF symposium on July 13, 2016 on the topic of Building a Stronger Foundation. To join the conversation and help architect uniform and consistent early engagement for the entire American Jewish community post your thoughts on the comment section of this post. Let us work together to create an even and strong foundation for our American Jewish Community.