Regional Jewish Federation

Regional Jewish Federation

Program Planning

We have little time to waste in addressing the growing affiliation gap between Jews and Jewish communal life, thought-leaders say, especially in the wake of the 2013 Pew Research Center study on American Jews. In response to this concern, a major urban Jewish federation imagined a community-wide initiative that would target teens, while a major national foundation offered matching funds for a promising initiative.


During this community planning process, both the vision and principal goal were a “given”: a more vibrant Jewish community in the future and markedly increased levels of teen engagement in Jewish communal life. In addition, the process had to encompass a geographically expansive and culturally diverse community that only recently started a dialogue on teen issues.


An inclusive planning process was led by a steering committee, seen to represent the broader community. Extensive interviews, regional focus groups, and a community-wide planning conclave helped to gather ideas and “workshop” a winning concept.

Product &

• Developed a Community-Wide Strategic Plan for Jewish Teen Engagement focused on one big idea: a spring break travel program designed to reach 40 percent of Jewish ninth-graders.
• Designed a series of related initiatives to boost training for communal professionals, communicate effectively with the teen population, and ensure follow-through and measured progress.