The NextGen – R.I.P.

“The NextGen is no longer.

They are the NOWGen”. So spoke Johanna Arbib, the passionate and dedicated JAFI Board member (representing Keren Hayesod) as she introduced Friday morning’s Assembly plenary, Tomorrow Happens Now: The Assembly Hosts the Now Generation.

Emphasizing the time is now, Joanna told us this generation (defined as roughly 25-40) “will lead thru cooperation, collaboration, creativity, energy and global dialogue”.

Despite the small number of Assembly registrants in attendance it was an incredibly positive session, complete with small group dialogue, among the three generations represented in the room. A great deal of time was spent discussing the real challenge today for most organizations, the transition in leadership – that what needs to take place is evolutionary, not revolutionary.

A major take-away from the morning, the NowGen does not mobilize for the same reasons or with the same dynamics as previous generations.

Summing up the plenary, Richie Pearlstone, JAFI’s Board Chair, said he walked away with the following impressions:

  • without passion there is nothing
  • words are extremely powerful, as are labels; they are different for different generations
  • the ‘older’ generation needs to be used to help the ‘young’
  • the question, can existing organizations play a role in transition

And most important:

if all we do is talk we’ve wasted everyone’s time;

how we act is what counts.

Hats off to both KolDor and the World Union of Jewish Students who sent large and participating delegations to this plenary session.