Following on from my previous post and the recent feature in the Australian Jewish News focussing on the engagement of young adults in our community, there have been rumblings from young people in our community about what is actually being done and by whom to engage them.
The antagonism around large scale Jewish events is rife. There’s a feeling that young Jews are “forced” to socialise with each other in a bar with alcohol and music (which apparently is not to everyone’s taste). Reports of endless bar tabs on the communal dollar continue to do the rounds.
But, at the end of the day, different people want different things. There are those that want guidance in terms of career direction. Others want to network. Some need a good laugh at a comedy evening with friends. There are also reports of a knitting circle needing to be established. (see comments on YourJC click here).
And others just want to party – whether it’s with fellow Jews. Or not.
But seriously, when considering the multitude of events out there –, the community is catering for a diverse range of needs. It’s not a one size fits all approach anymore. And at the end of the day, choose the event that suits you – that interests you, where you will be with like-minded people and perhaps even make a new friend or two, or learn something.
Communal organisations have agonised over whether to just “let them go” and hope that when young Jews reach the next stage in their lives where they are ready to connect and identify with their community, it will be a natural process and they will return.
And while that elusive term, continuity, will always be out there, it’s about the next generation and where they take it from here.
There’s a famous saying, “if you love someone, set them free. If they come back to you, they’re yours, if they don’t, they never were.” Are we willing to take that risk? Your thoughts please.