Source: The Kehillah Partnership
The Kehillah Partnership of Northern New Jersey is an innovative, community-wide effort to build a stronger and more engaged Jewish community across institutional and denominational lines. Now in its second pilot year, the Kehillah Partnership aims to reinvigorate community through the sharing of resources, the enhancement and integration of informal and formal Jewish education for all ages, and the creation of new opportunities for the unengaged to connect and identify.
By facilitating institutional collaboration at every level – between the JCCs, the synagogues, and the UJA Federation - the Kehillah Partnership strengthens the traditional pillar agencies of the community while making Jewish life more affordable and offering added value: the creation of new programs and opportunities for individuals and families both within and outside the traditional communal structure to connect and identify.
- The strengthening of the Jewish communal infrastructure and the encouragement of resource sharing between institutions
- The creation of new opportunities for connections among community members and for identification as part of the Jewish community
- The enhanced integration of formal and informal learning opportunities for all ages
- The increased affordability of Jewish communal life for individuals and families
The Kehillah Partnership, a visionary Jewish community startup is completing its second pilot year of collaboration between The Bergen County YJCC, the local UJA federation and eight synagogues – four Reform and four Conservative. During the pilot, sixth and seventh grade students from all the participating synagogue schools participated in a rich Israeli cultural arts program, choosing the areas which most appealed to them.
Their program culminated in a community showcase of their work and activities while their parents participated in a lively text-based discussion on points related to raising Jewish children.
The curriculum and entire program was developed and carried out by a collaborative team of educators from the eight synagogue schools.
The first two pilot years of Kehillah have shown that by working together, resources can be brought into the community that individual synagogues or JCCs could not afford on their own. Programming can benefit from the ideas and experiences of a wide range of professionals. The leadership of many communal institutions can collaborate to inspire and engage their constituents.
Kehilla aims to continue a seven-year growth process, to make entry to the Jewish community more affordable, more attractive to the unaffiliated, and more meaningful to the community's children and families, while achieving financial sustainability.