Ruth W. Messinger and Rabbi David Rosenn in a letter to The Forward
Today’s young Jewish adults have boundless energy, creativity and leadership ability. They are also dramatically effective at organizing. Once the Jewish community devotes more attention and resources toward empowering younger Jews to be the kinds of people they want to be – and to helping us be the kind of community we want to be – these young people can and will connect the dots. Rather than tourists or travelers, we suggest that repairers and builders might be the right way to think about the role of the Jewish people’s rising generations. Their only question to us is whether or not we are willing to share the tools.
from The Forward
This is a tough time for graduates entering the work force in any profession, and newly minted rabbis are no exception. Across every movement, hundreds of rabbinical students are approaching their graduation this spring with a heavy dose of dread.
Several factors have combined to create such a tight job market. Rabbinical students who dreamed of leading a congregation are finding that synagogues are cutting back because of financial pressure; at the same time, other possible employers, such as day schools, foundations and federations, are also tightening their belts. Rabbis with stable jobs aren’t going anywhere in this economy, so there’s less movement than usual. And everyone is competing for a few precious jobs.
from The Jerusalem Report (we missed this one a few weeks back)
But today, 80 years later, troubling questions have arisen over the Jewish Agency for Israel’s (JAFI) continued existence: How much of JAFI’s $340 million annual operational budget – which comes from the United Jewish Communities, the umbrella group representing 155 Jewish Federations and 400 communities across North America, and private donations – is wasted on redundant self-perpetuation of the jobs of its roughly 400 full-time employees? And how much goes to realizing the organization’s twin goals of building the State of Israel, mainly by bringing immigrants, and fostering the link between the state and the Jewish people in the Diaspora, principally through education? Does it matter that its budget, funded mainly by Jews outside Israel, is direly threatened by the world economic crisis? Would it make a difference to anyone if the organization was just swallowed up into the Israeli
The success of Birthright Israel – which has sent more than 200,000 Diaspora youths on free Israel trips to strengthen their Jewish identity – is rooted in its creation outside the Jewish organizational and governmental framework, asserts Shimshon Shoshani, the organization’s founding CEO. “If you want to start an innovative project, it is better to stay out of the bureaucracies. Be it the government, the UJC [United Jewish Communities of North America] or the Jewish Agency – stay away from bureaucracy because internal politics will kill your project in six minutes.”
The Baltimore Jewish Times interviews Sharna Goldseker
The next generation brings energy, values, talents and resources to the community and it is our opportunity to capture them. We don’t want to wait 20 years to invite them to the table when they bring unique skills. People are absolutely receptive to these initiatives.