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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.
• 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.