Source: Generation J
In response to a precipitous decline in the number of affiliated Jews and an alarming upsurge in rates of assimilation, the leadership of Montreal’s Jewish community recently announced Generation J, a long-term investment to inspire local Jewish youth, enhance Jewish education, strengthen Jewish identity, and ensure a vibrant Jewish future in Montreal. The program is supported by an allocation of nearly $10.8 million that FEDERATION CJA is putting toward Jewish identity and education in 2008-2009.
Recognizing that young people connect with their Jewish identity in different ways at different stages of their lives, Gen J has identified five critical gateways through which meaningful and engaging Jewish experiences are being developed. They are: formal Jewish education; camps and youth programming; family and adult programming; Israel experiences; and arts and culture.
The first phase of projects includes:
- Expanded access to Jewish day school: $250,000 in tuition assistance allocations, on top of the current $2.55 million, to ensure that children can have a Jewish education.
- Performing arts programs: creating a world-class drama, music, and culture curriculum for high school students through The Academy of the Segal Centre.
- Jewish literacy for children: providing Jewish books and magazines to families with young children through the PJ Library and BabagaNewz initiatives.
- Jewish camping: enabling up to 230 young people to enjoy their first Jewish summer camping experience.
- Israel experience follow-ups: implementing activities for young adults that will build on Israel experiences, and address contemporary issues such as social action, Israel advocacy, Jewish culture, and the environment.
- Moot Court of Jewish Law: to teach high school students the concepts of Jewish law and explore its relevance to today’s issues by competing in a moot court forum.
- West Island Jewish Learning Centre for Young Families: a centre for West Island families to share Jewish holiday instruction, group Shabbat dinners, and parenting classes.
FEDERATION CJA is also encouraging any non-profit or community-based organization that serves a Jewish population in Quebec to apply for Promise Grants, which offer one-time funding for innovative projects designed to strengthen Jewish identity and enhance excellence in formal or informal Jewish education.