Engaging Young American Jews in this Moment

28 May 2021

NIF is focused on work on-the-ground, but we are also committed to providing opportunities for younger American Jews to connect with that work in innovative ways. This is true during normal times, and it has been particularly true during these last weeks of crisis.

As news broke, we quickly shifted a pre-planned giving circle for NIF’s New Gen community to focus on the current situation. Participants were asked for a minimum donation in order to participate. They then joined a web event where they established community values and reviewed material from some ten different organizations tackling various challenges Israel faces at this moment. Their task was to decide together which organizations would receive their collective funds. Eventually, with several generous match donations, the circle raised over $7,000 and decided to contribute to NIF’s support of Adalah and Gisha. Close to 50 people learned about all ten organizations and voiced great interest in staying engaged going forward.

We also quickly pulled three stand-alone activities (“peulot“) from our summer camp curriculum to offer to camp educators and communities ahead of the summer. Two summers ago, NIF launched the pilot of our camp curriculum. While camps across the country were cancelled last summer due to COVID-19, we are hoping to regain momentum ahead of this summer. During the devastating crisis in Israel, our partners in the world of Jewish camps began reaching out and asking for help navigating the hard conversations they knew they would need to have. The three activities will be offered alongside web trainings for camp staff and have already been met with great appreciation and interest.

At this moment of heightened polarization among American Jews of all ages, NIF is helping young Jews find a way to stay in this conversation and in this work.