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Introducing Our Future by Rabbi Janice Elster

The 2030 Project is a new Federation initiative to bring young Jewish adults together to envision and create a strong San Diego Jewish community




Rabbi Janice Elster welcomes participants to the 2030 Summit.

Serving as the leader of Federation’s 2030 Project has been an illuminating experience for me. Over the course of six months, I had the pleasure of meeting and developing relationships with more than 75 young adults in our local community. Not quite sure what to expect, I embarked on a fact-finding mission to listen and learn from these bright minds: exactly how did they envision a connection to their own Judaism, our local Jewish community and to Jewish people around the world?

Their response was nothing short of amazing. I’d like to thank all of the participants for their energy, enthusiasm, creativity and dedication to this venture. By offering their honest and carefully considered input, we now have a clear understanding of what is important — and perhaps what is not as important — to this age cohort. Armed with this concise information, Federation has developed targeted programming designed to resonate with and engage the young people destined to be the

future of our San Diego Jewish community. I’d also like to acknowledge the Leichtag Foundation for their generous contribution to the 2030 Project. When we finish reading a book of the Torah in synagogue, we stand and say, “hazak hazak, v’nithazek!” Be strong, be strong and we will be strengthened. In taking what we learned from the 2030 Project and putting it into action, we will all be strengthened.


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What is the 2030 Project?


Strengthening the connection of San Diego Jews in their 20s and 30s to the Jewish community and each other is a key part of Federation’s Transformation Vision adopted by the Board of Directors in May 2010.

are thousands of young Jewish adults in San Diego who are currently not connected to the Jewish community in a meaningful way.

Why are so many Jewish young adults seemingly disconnected? Before launching another round of program and organizational creation, we looked to other organizations serving young adults around the country for their best practices. We also surveyed local organizations to establish exactly what was happening in our own community.

We determined it would be best to take advantage of the experience of San Diego Jews in their 20s and 30s who have already spent time thinking about and exploring what will work for them. We need to listen to them and be prepared to follow their lead. We need to trust our Jewish future to their hands. Our stated goal for this age group is straightforward: to double the number of Jewish young adults who are involved locally. To reach this milestone, we have enlisted members of the very age group we are targeting for growth.

San Diego community leaders are keenly aware that it no longer “works” for one generation to predetermine the paths for the next generation. The pace of change has been too rapid. One can debate whether or not what worked for our grandparents also worked for our parents, but it is abundantly clear that what worked for the 20- to 40-year-olds of a generation ago — who are now 50 to 70 years old+ — isn’t going to work for the same age cohort of today.


The 2030 Project was launched with the intent of collecting authentic and real-world information directly from members of this younger generation. Our goal was to establish an accurate picture of their cares and concerns, as well as the barriers to their involvement and the overall perception they have of

Jewish life in San Diego. There are an estimated 28,000 Jewish young adults between the ages of 21 and 40 in San Diego County,* approximately 28 percent of the total Jewish population of the county. Yet only roughly 1,000 participants can be identified as actively involved in one or more of the 14 Jewish young adult organizations included in the 2030 Network convened by Federation. Also accounted for, with some obvious overlap, are the estimated 3,000 alumni of Birthright Israel trips with a primary or secondary San Diego address. This calculation indicates there

* According to the most recent San Diego Jewish Community Demographic Study


The 2030 Project seeks to give the next generation tangible ownership of their Jewish experiences and future. Rather than attempting to define it for them, we sought out young adults over the course of six months through a variety of means, including participation in Jewish conferences and events, one-on-one meetings, small focus groups and ultimately the 2030 Project Summit — and in a variety of ways we posed the question, “What kinds of Jewish experiences are you looking for?” This report contains the many answers to that simple question along with conclusions drawn based on identifiable trends, common challenges, mutual experiences and shared desires among our young adult participants. The outcomes and recommendations presented are the result of their honest assessment of how they would define a meaningful Jewish experience for themselves and how Federation staff, community partners, key stakeholders and funders play an integral role in establishing these initiatives and ultimately securing a vibrant Jewish future.

Putting the Generations in Perspective The 2030 Project targeted young adult Jews who were born between 1972 and 1991. This age cohort straddles two distinct generations — Generation X and Generation Y (also referred to as Millenials).

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What We did

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Our Outreach: Four Distinct Approaches



Personal relationships were established with young adults in San Diego resulting in one-on-one conversations and several small focus groups. A full-day summit workshop was held with over 40 participants whom we challenged to design their ideal Jewish experience.



Federation staff and the 2030 Project team devised a four-prong approach to efficiently access information from our target demographic: Conference subsidies were provided to over 30 young adults to attend Jewish-based conferences and events and report back their findings. Research was conducted both on a national and local level to gather best practices from other organizations serving young adult Jews around the country and determine what was happening in our own community.


Conference Subsidies A portion of the initial 2030 Project grant was used to support local Jewish young adults to attend one of a variety of conferences or mission experiences they might not otherwise

have had the ability to go to on their own. By providing these experiences, we effectively opened the hearts and minds of numerous young people to Jewish opportunities in ways they couldn’t have ever imagined possible. Grants were provided for several different conferences including AIPAC, National Young Leadership Israel Mission, JDC trip to Turkey and Germany and the first annual TribeFest in Las Vegas.

other young professionals. “It was amazing to see the diversity in attendance — among us were punk Jews and ultra-Orthodox Jews, artists and scholars, educators and scientists, former IDF soldiers and Birthright participants. No matter where we were from

or what our interests were, what brought us together was the desire to give in a positive, meaningful and Jewish way.” Each subsidy recipient took part in an exit interview and shared what they learned and how their experience


TribeFest was a threeday young leadership conference hosted by The Jewish Federations of North America that brought together over 1,200 Jews, ages 22 to 45. For participants Miriam and Doug, who used a subsidy from the 2030 Project to attend, it was an opportunity to explore and celebrate being Jewish, while being culturally engaged with

what we did

changed their outlook. They also discussed ideas they could bring back to share with other young adult Jews in San Diego. It was rewarding to witness the personal growth and passion that developed from these once-in-alifetime experiences. For example, Doug and Miriam made a connection at TribeFest to Sharsheret, a national non-profit organization dedicated to serving the unique concerns of Jewish women

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with breast cancer, and subsequently met with a representative to discuss a program here in San Diego. Two of the AIPAC participants, who also attended our August Birthright Israel trip, and are now actively getting involved in AIPAC locally and engaging more young people in Israel advocacy. Research and Data Collection As we developed the strategy for our own

outreach, we tapped into the expertise of several flourishing young adult organizations from the United States and Canada.* From New York to St. Louis to Ottawa, we identified successful programs that will serve as ongoing resources for us.

* See Best Practices List: Appendix 1, page 15. **See 2030 Network List: Appendix 2 page 16.

Each organization provided statistical data about their participation, descriptions of their specific mission, target audiences and funding sources. The groups range in size from as few as 20 members to more than 1,000 members and offer a variety of social, educational and philanthropic programs. Some of the groups have a focus on one particular area of interest, while

others focus on a larger community or serve as an entry point into Jewish life. Several of the groups have regular events, while others only host two or three per year. Regardless of shape or size, each organization captures the interest and attention of our target age cohort in some capacity. Relationship-Based Engagement The 2030 Network members were instrumental in the next stage of the project, helping to identify individual young adults


To better assess the local landscape, Federation first sought to convene the leaders of the 14 identifiable young adult Jewish organizations, forming what is now known as the 2030 Network.** We spoke personally with

each organization’s leader to share Federation’s 2030 Project goals and garner their support.

what we did

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overheard at the summit

who were willing to share their personal stories.

The 2030 Project Summit Armed with the wealth of information already gathered, our networking efforts entered the final phase of the project: recruiting participants to attend the full-day 2030 Project Summit.


Five focus groups, including one specifically for young families and one for LGBT participants, were held to further explore these needs. Participants were open and forthcoming with past experiences and obstacles to their ongoing involvement in the Jewish community.

The full-day summit was

the culmination of the 2030 Project, an opportunity to convene young Jewish adults and learn firsthand what experiences and opportunities would help them make a meaningful connection to their Jewish community.


Through one-on-one meetings and small group discussions with these young adults, it became clear that within the age cohort there are sub-groups with specific needs.

Invitations were extended through the Network organizations and online via Facebook and the Federation website. Many young adults were personally invited.

“For me it’s like seeing a guy… and thinking he is cute... Then my friend says, ‘Oh, he is Jewish’ and I think, ‘OH he is REALLY cute!’ Because there is a built-in connection, I don’t have to explain what Shabbat is.”

what we did

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The desired outcomes for the participants of the Summit were: An understanding of trends in the American young adult Jewish community

A positive, interactive, and fun experience with other young adult Jews Increased awareness and understanding of their potential role in building their own Jewish future An active role in generating fresh ideas for Jewish experiences and programs An opportunity to take a leadership role in moving these ideas to reality


For such a gathering to result in data that could be made actionable by young adults, local stakeholders and funders, the Summit needed to be strategically crafted. Upstart Bay Area, proven experts at cultivating and nurturing start-ups and organizations that re-imagine and expand Jewish life, worked with Federation staff to develop the Summit and facilitate the process.

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The 2030 Project Summit took place in San Diego on Sunday, September 25, 2011. The Summit drew more than 40 young adults. The morning began with an interactive exercise that

overheard at the summit

“I am really proud to be part of a group who gave up football on a Sunday to work on this idea! This was a really cool day.”

“I like to feel like part of a Jewish community without it being the spotlight.” - A summit participant thrust the participants into a large group in the center of the room, laughing and chatting as they moved around introducing themselves to one another. After settling down, the participants were presented with an informative overview of the local and national landscape of young adult Jewish life.

Participants formed design teams with four to five participants per team. They were all given the same design challenge: “To create new ways to connect young adult Jews to meaningful Jewish experiences.” The groups shared their ideas in smaller breakout groups, receiving and giving feedback. Eight

very different concepts emerged from this process, ranging from a “Jews Cruise” designed to whisk singles, couples and families off on a cruise ship adventure featuring Jewish-themed activities, to a Farmer’s Market set up in a synagogue parking lot with booths offering Judaica, flowers, plants, crafts and information on ethical/social justice values. Other popular ideas included “Joop,” a onestop website portal with access to peer reviews of


The heart of the day was the afternoon session when the participants were challenged to imagine, develop, and build

prototypes of their own ideas for connecting young adult Jews to meaningful Jewish experiences.

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overheard at the summit

the best Jewish events and activities and “Oh Vey, I Just…,” a referral program designed to connect young adult Jews to resources to help them transition from one life-stage to the next. Ultimately, each of the design teams pitched their idea to everyone at the Summit. In reviewing feedback from the participants, Summit organizers discovered that 80% of participants expressed interest in staying connected to the idea they helped develop; moreover, 66% would like to stay connected to multiple ideas that emerged. Clearly the simple act of participating in the process of developing an idea fosters a sense of ownership and attachment! The young adults who attended the 2030 Project Summit were energized by a day in which they were empowered to come

together and design ideas for their future. They expressed definite interest in driving forward with the development of these new ideas and continuing the conversation about how to reinvent Jewish life in San Diego for young adult Jews. Erica, age 24, summarizes her experience: “It was really great to see all of these people in the Jewish community who I never met before — and all of us

“It’s not so much about being Jewish as it is sharing passion and educational interests.” having new ideas that were genuine and excited about creating something to meet the needs of young Jewish professionals in San Diego.”

Experience the 2030 Summit for Yourself! Do you know what this wacky box can do? It is just another example of new technology changing the way we receive information. Using your smartphone and a scanner app like ScanLife or QuickMark, take a snapshot of this QR code for a direct link to an online video of the day’s events.

Not sure? Ask someone under the age of 30!

Now We Know

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What We Learned


The portrait of the 2030 Project participants was one of confidence, enlightenment and selfexpression. These assured young men and women are intent on carving their own path and insist on making the most of every minute. With smartphones in hand and the use of technology hardwired in their minds, they operate at a rapidfire pace coupled with the agility to change direction in a nanosecond.

If one word summed up the desire most expressed by these young adults, it would be “connection.” Whether it is a connection to a community-based organization, meaningful personal connections with friends or reconnecting to their Jewish roots — this longing for “connection” became the steady heartbeat of the conversation. Barriers to Connection For those who wanted to get involved, lack of information or even knowing where to go to get information was cited as a common barrier to participation. “I couldn’t find anything on the web about

opportunities for young adults in synagogues,” shares Kimmel, age 34. Accustomed to instant notification and constant tweets, this age cohort is easily frustrated by having to search for answers they perceive should be readily available or, better yet, personally delivered to their smartphone according to their stated interests and media preference. They know it is feasible with available technology, and without this connection, it leaves them to assume their involvement is inconsequential. Consistency is a Concern Many young adults felt that while they looked forward to annual events, there were not enough to maintain a connected feeling yearround. There were many requests for regular Shabbat dinners tailored to specific life-stages — specifically family-friendly services.


Possessing little patience for the same old thing done the same old way with the same old people, they regularly seek out new experiences that resonate with their sense of justice and forge relationships with those who reflect their values. “I want my Jewish involvement to be doing something positive for my community, giving back, not just social,” asserts Julia, age 28. With open minds to the world at

large, their experiences and relationships often extend beyond the Jewish realm, driven largely by their personal passions, including hobbies, educational pursuits, careers and social justice.


Wanted: Jewish Friends As we listen to the voices from the 2030 Project, one of the most echoed desires was for establishing significant personal connections with their peers, especially those in a similar life-stage — single, married or perhaps starting a family. It is clear these connections play a crucial role in engaging this age group on a long-term basis. “I went to a Tu B’Shevat Seder. There were a lot of people there and I really felt part of something. It was meaningful to participate in something Jewish like that,” shares Yoav, age 28. The chance to meet new people, requests for consistent and frequent activities to interact with friends and opportunities to celebrate Shabbat ranked as high priorities with a majority of the 2030 Project participants. Acknowledging challenges with busy lifestyles and geographic obstacles, social media was cited as an important resource for maintaining these connections and staying abreast of events and activities. And, meeting a Jewish wife would be very nice too, according to Daniel, age 30.

Now We Know

This desire extended to opportunities to celebrate holidays with friends. Further, many felt the lack of frequent programming was a real contributing factor to their challenge of meeting new people or potentially a Jewish

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partner. “It is difficult to meet someone to date,” explains Andrew, age 26. Other stated obstacles to event participation include time of day, lack of childcare, overloaded schedules and geography.

Special Interests Bound by their dedication to a particular passion or special interest, many participants saw value in small groups dedicated to social justice, community activism/involvement and travel and would welcome

focus groups

Identifying Specific Needs A recurring theme surfaced during our conversations that underneath the Jewish umbrella, there is a deeper underlying need to connect with peers in a similar life-stage or lifestyle. Whether it be singles looking for social activities, or new families eager for play dates, making these small connections is the first step toward building a stronger connection with the Jewish community at large.


Singles expressed interest in intimate Shabbat experiences with friends, social events with purpose and educational opportunities with a cultural component and had an expressed desire to see new faces regularly added to their circle. “I see a lot of the same people at events. We need new people,” states Joseph, age 33.


Families seek a chavurah model, involving the whole family and not just mom and baby. They find lack of childcare and kid-friendly experiences at their synagogues a barrier to their participation and long to find other Jewish families to share their common interests.


Mutual Experiences The interest in reconnecting to their Jewish roots was a common thread. Ilene, one of the participants called it “Flashback Programming.” When asked to elaborate, she explained with delight the discovery she’d made that nearly everyone in the room had fond memories of the same important

Jewish experiences, such as Jewish camp or Birthright Israel trips. By virtue of these shared recollections they instantly discovered a deep connection to each other and their Judaism. Realizing, perhaps for the first time, the impact these rites of passage have made on their lives, this seemed to trigger a thirst for more educational opportunities and involvement. The Only Constant is Change No one doubts that now is a time of great change, not only within the Jewish community, but around the world in general. Technology


LGBT Jews feel that the Jewish and LGBT communities are very separate and crave more overlap. They don’t necessarily require events to be exclusively LGBT, but they would enjoy crossover events and the chance to connect with other LGBT Jews. One participant suggests, “Let’s show a Jewish-themed film at the Queer Film Festival or a queer-themed film at the Jewish Film Festival.”

volunteer opportunities to support their cause. Extending this concept of small special interest groups creates opportunities for families who would benefit from interaction with other families and for tailored activities sensitive to the needs of LGBT Jews.

Now We Know

moves at breakneck speed, news travels around the globe in minutes and social networking has revolutionized the way we interact with each other. At the forefront of much of this change are young adults — those in their 20s and 30s. The changes felt in the world of politics,

“My ideal vision of Jewish community includes being connected with peers who are in a similar place in life and Jewish values and practices.” - A participant in a focus group

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technology and religion are keenly felt among the Jewish community. Desire to Connect As these young adults become leaders within the Jewish community, participation comes from an internal desire to remain connected. Following self-initiated interest, the most common avenue of volunteer recruitment for Jewish young adults is through family and friends, according to the authors of Volunteering + Values: A Repair the World Report on Jewish Young Adults. Once again providing evidence that “connection” plays a crucial role in participation. This desire for connection can be traced to two social trends affecting not just young Jews, but young adults around the world: First, young adults are waiting to marry, waiting to start families, and waiting to embark on lifelong career

paths. Delaying these milestones allows them more freedom to explore the world, form connections with others and learn more about themselves before “settling down.” The second trend is the explosion of online social networking. As stated in Jack Wertheimer’s “Generation of Change: How Leaders in Their Twenties and Thirties are Reshaping American Jewish Life,” no discussion of Jews in their 20s and 30s can ignore the powerful impact of the Internet during their formative years. Communicating with others in one’s city or across the planet is cheap, easy and immediate. This phenomenon has reshaped the way young adults conceptualize community. Plugging Into Their World Like the Facebook world they live in, it is abundantly

clear that each connection these young adults make to another person within the Jewish community leads to more opportunities for new experiences and, in turn, even more personal connections. Many of the events and activities they expressed interest in

already exist. The more we can “plug in” to their world — organizing and delivering timely and targeted information and facilitating the building of key personal relationships ­— the stronger their overall connection to the Jewish community will become.

“Commitment goes both ways. If I commit to a Jewish community, I want it to commit to me.” - A participant in a focus group


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Establishing a Meaningful Connection


We challenged the young Jewish adults in San Diego to define their future and they rose to that challenge. Their overwhelming response to the 2030 Project is confirmation we are on the right path of discovery.

their value to the Jewish community, address the barriers they face, accept their expectations of change, encourage them to take leadership roles and empower them to become an integral part of the process.

In just six short months, we ignited interest and created a buzz among an age cohort typically off to the next best thing in the blink of an eye. Our immediate challenge is to meet them head on — and without hesitation acknowledge

Underlying the primary mission of the 2030 Project was a hope to identify rising stars within the young Jewish community — earnest men and women seemingly poised to become leaders. That hope was achieved — now the

task at hand is nurturing their interests, providing mentorship and creating opportunities for growth. However, if we are to provide such opportunities for leadership among young working professionals and ensure readiness for such opportunities, we need to develop infrastructure and systems that are up for the task. Failure to do so will only attract their initial interest, but deter longterm involvement if they feel their efforts are not supported. Already in the planning stages is The Community Engagement & Leadership Center. It will be an important step in fulfilling this promise. The Center will feature a comprehensive online portal through which new and current members of the Jewish community can get involved and stay connected to Jewish life in San Diego. A volunteer

clearinghouse will engage individuals and groups in volunteering, developing volunteer programs, and connecting volunteerism with Jewish education and leadership development. Leveraging technology, The Community Engagement & Leadership Center will use social media as a primary means of connecting young Jews to a myriad of opportunities and, more importantly, to each other. Building a sense of community using communication methods that are common-

place to this generation acknowledges their significance and engages them on a platform uniquely suited to their lives. The 2030 Project has been an enlightening journey, and by thoroughly analyzing the invaluable information and insight we gathered from our young adults, we have learned exactly what this generation requires to ensure a more vibrant Jewish future in San Diego — and Federation is prepared to deliver it.

BUilding a New Reality

Where Do We Go From Here?


The primary goal of the 2030 Project was to help more young Jewish adults connect to meaningful Jewish experiences and community by expanding their opportunities, addressing gaps in service and minimizing barriers to participation. We have identified the key needs of 20s and 30s Jews in San Diego which are not currently being met and have developed this series of programmatic recommendations to implement as an integral part of our plan for the Community Engagement & Leadership Center here at Federation. Proposed Program:

how WE WILL MET THESE needs:

s ssss

Attractive, interactive, searchable website Web-based calendar listing all young adult programs of all groups Listing of community Jewish resources Means of rating and commenting Social page for posting profiles and connecting Mobile app

International and local social justice experiences JDC/AJWS service learning trips Mission to Israel Conference subsidies Local, ongoing social justice volunteering, advocacy and service learning, including a retreat

Need for advancement of skills and knowledge Connection and coordination between young adult groups Skills and capacity for young adults to engage each other Opportunities for Jewish learning Ability to foster new initiatives Professional development of group leaders

Opportunities for further connection and program expansion Convene the 2030 Network: network meetings, professional development and coordination of programs for all the young adult groups Retreat for lay leaders of all groups Shabbat training and minyan (see Shabbat) establish Governance Leadership Institute Grant making for groups, organizations/synagogues and individuals

s ss s s

Need for meaningful engagement: Community involvement To do something significant (not just social events) Travel opportunities

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Capacity Building


Coordinated dinner opportunities Expanded Shabbat dinner options both home hosted and synagogue based Resources: Shabbat in a box, training and learning opportunities Service opportunities: independent minyan, work with synagogues on young adult services Coordination with other young adult groups High Holiday services and meals

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Social Justice


Need to have opportunities to celebrate Shabbat: More opportunities for Shabbat dinners with friends Large and small dinners More consistent opportunities Prayer Different locations and dates

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Shabbat & Holidays

Need to know what’s happening throughout the San Diego Jewish young adult world: A central place for information on young adult programs Communication and collaboration between groups A delivery vehicle for all our vibrant programming A place to connect


Virtual Jewish Marketplace


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BUilding a New Reality

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We have also identified two cohorts which require targeted programming because they have unique needs in addition to those of the general population. Proposed Program:

how WE WILL MET THESE needs:

sss s s s ssss

Young adults with young children connecting to one another and Jewish opportunities (community and engagement) Family-friendly synagogue and Shabbat programming


Preference for southern location of events Inclusivity Access/awareness Better engagement More entry points into Jewish life



sss ss



Leadership training for engagement LGBT specific events Raised awareness about inclusivity in other young adult programs Development of a cohort on the website and through person-to-person engagement Family chavurot (by geographic area and age of kids) Shabbat programs Childcare available at events Expansion of family Shabbat to synagogues Partnership with the JCC, CJC and Shalom Baby Raised awareness of needs of this cohort in the Jewish community




Vibrant Jewish Young Adult Life


Implementation of the 2030 Project initiatives will be the fulfilment of a promise that will cross generations and forge a lasting bond among families and friends who, as a result of these programs and services, will be connected together as part of the greater San Diego Jewish community. These program areas and their expressions will evolve over time as we test them out on the marketplace. Some will remain, some will evolve and some will drop away, as the needs of this population shift, or we find better ways to meet them through creative experimentation. We are confident these initial steps will quickly establish new and attractive opportunities for meaningful connection and engagement of the Jewish young adults here in San Diego County and beyond.


Appendix 1

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Best Practices of Young Adult Engagement from Around the Country In implementing the strategy for the Federation’s 2030 Project here in San Diego, we examined several flourishing young adult programs from around the United States and Canada. Many will serve as ongoing resources as we launch new initiatives. 6th and I Historic Synagogue

6th and I is a cultural center hosting concerts and speakers but also is a kind of synagogue in Washington DC. It is housed in a historic synagogue building. There is no membership, but there are a variety of programs offered including Shabbat dinner and services every Friday. The type of service rotates each week, and the programs and meals are pay as you go with no charge for Shabbat services. It serves a young professional population that is transient and doesn’t want to join a synagogue but is looking for Jewish life. It has a rabbi on staff who conducts programs around the holidays, offers Jewish learning classes, and leads high holidays and some of the Shabbat services. Its goal is to provide a space for all kinds of Jews to feel comfortable any way they want to practice and keep them connected to Judaism during this transitional time in their lives.

92Y Tribeca A community center with programs that are educational, spiritual, cultural and fun with a focus on arts and education. It serves Jews and non-Jews. Makor, which was a Jewish young adult organization in NYC merged with 92Y in 2001. Makor promoted the arts and personal Jewish exploration. It has a very large facility in Tribeca that includes a variety of program and

performance spaces, lounges, a teaching kitchen and a café. It offers classes, lectures, music performances, film screenings, theater, comedy shows, learning opportunities, daytime programs for retirees, Shabbat dinners and High Holiday services with their rabbi in residence. Some of these programs are geared toward people in their 20s and 30s, and some are for all ages or retirees. The partnership between a young adult program and a general community center allows the space to be sustained because it is used by both cohorts with the young adult-targeted programming happening mainly at night.

Next Dor STL Next Dor (Hebrew for generation) is a vibrant center of activity that builds community for young Jewish adults. The programs, activities, and events at Next Dor are created by young adults and community organizations specifically for young adults. Located in St. Louis, the house serves as a catalyst to create a thriving Jewish young adult community. The space is open to individuals, informal groups, and existing organizations. The one staff person resides in the house where the programs take place and networks and connects with young adults. There is a young adult lay leadership and the programming is created by them or is offered by partnering with Jewish organizations in town that want to reach young adults.

Young Adult Programming in Boston (Formerly Gesher City Boston)

Gesher City Boston was created in a number of US cities and sought to bridge young adults to the Jewish community. Gesher City Boston was brought into the Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston and became part of the website This website is a central place for all that is happening in Boston in the Jewish community and has a 20s and 30s page within it full of different events. They have a young adult ambassador program to help connect people with what is going on, and the website lists the activities of the 45 organizations in Boston that do programming for young adults in one centralized place. The CJP also funds 15 organizations that do new and innovative young adult programming in addition to small grants throughout the year.

Innovation Resources UpStart Bay Area • A team of consultants and experts who work with entrepreneurs, start-ups, and organizations to inspire and advance innovative ideas that contribute to the continued growth and vitality of Jewish life.

Jewish Jumpstart • A thinkubator for sustainable Jewish innovation that, among other things, helps established organizations seeking to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism. Available as a consultant. Co-authored a study about the Jewish innovation landscape: InnovationEcosystem_WebVersion.pdf

PresenTense • Offers a one-day program called an Idea Slam, a forum to brainstorm ideas for new ventures, and a year long Community Entrepreneur Partnership with Federations to foster leadership and help young adults create opportunities for their peers and in their communities.

References Wertheimer, Jack. (2010) Generation of Change: How Leaders in their Twenties and Thirties are Reshaping American Jewish Life. New York. Chertok, F., Gerstein, J., Tobias, J., Rosin, S., & Boxer, M. (2011) Volunteering and Values: A Repair the World Report on Jewish Young Adults, Executive Summary. New York: Repair the World.

openOttawa A one-day symposium organized by the Ottawa Federation to bring together Jewish young adults from a variety of social networks to talk about community and Jewish life, as well as a series of discussions about how young Jews in Ottawa experience and practice their Judaism. This project had similar goals to ours so it served as a possible model for our 2030 Project Leadership Summit.

Acknowledgements The 2030 Project was made possible through a generous grant provided by the Leichtag Foundation. The Jewish Federation of San Diego County is grateful for their support.

Appendix 2

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The Network: Jewish Young Adult Organizations in San Diego ADL - Glass Leadership Institute Contact: Heather Frank

Hillel JGrads

Contact: Genevieve Okada

Goal: To introduce leaders to the work of the ADL and the issues on their agenda, to build a base of leaders informed about the organization’s work, committed to it and who can advocate for it in the community.

Goal: To connect Jewish graduate students with Jewish life on campus and in the local community as well as nationally and internationally (Israel). Goals are same as Hillel but geared to graduate students.


In the Mix (Center for Jewish Culture) (CJC):

Contact: Yaron Lief 181878749549#!/profile.php?id=1219211217&ref=ts Goal: Meet new Jews and have fun.

Chabad - Young Jewish Professionals (YJP) Contact: Rabbi Chalom Boudjnah!/group. php?gid=2323978090&ref=ts

Goal: To bring unaffiliated Jews in their early 20s and mid 30s together as Jews to network and socialize and make our city a more vibrant Jewish place for everyone. A natural extension of Chabad of the College Area beyond former students.

Chai Group (Congregation Beth El) Contact: Eva Blank

Goal: Engage young adults (21-36) by providing educational, social and religious services, programs and events.

Emerging Leaders (Jewish Family Service) Contact: Laura Magid

Goal: To engage young adults in the work of JFS and in supporting its many programs.

Contact: Ilene Tatro

Goal: To engage adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s in existing cultural arts programs. Helping to build an audience and leaders for the future of the CJC.

J-Town (Congregation Beth Israel and Temple Emmanu-El) Contact: Rabbi Michael Satz

Goal: To connect young Jews with each other through Jewish experiences like prayer, study, and Shabbat celebration. To provide spiritual, educational and social space for young Jewish adults and young adults interested in Judaism in San Diego. Also to connect young adults to some aspects of a synagogue experience.

Jewish BIGPals (Jewish Family Service) Contact: Elizabeth Marshall pagename=programs_connect_BIGPals

Goal: Matches adult Jewish mentors with children from single parent or non-traditional families for mentorship and support

Moishe House San Diego

Contact: Goal: Create comfortable community for local Jews in their 20s and 30s. Include Jewish content without pushing any agenda. Targeting a demographic that others have difficulty engaging.

Supporting Jewish Single Parents (SJSP) (Jewish Family Service)

Contact: Stephanie Rogart pagename=programs_connect_single_parents Goal: Connects Jewish single parents and their children to the Jewish community. Through information and referral, networking, support and advocacy, helps promote Jewish continuity and offers services that enhance inclusion.

Young Adult Division (YAD) (Jewish Federation of San Diego County) Contact: Darren Schwartz

Goal: To build a vibrant Jewish community for young adults in San Diego by offering engagement opportunities around social, cultural and educational programs and to develop the next generation of philanthropists who will support the local and global Jewish community.

The Young Funders Initiative of the Jewish Community Foundation Contact: Amy Scher

Goal: To allow informal networking among young professionals, who can learn about the Jewish Community Foundation, learn about each other, and learn about charitable giving.

Young Jewish Leadership of University City (YJLUC) Contact: Ilana Silver!/group. php?gid=218501129739&ref=ts

Goal: To bring together Jews in their 20s and 30s for social and educational events. Initially started because there were no events geared toward observant Jews in UC, but open to all.


4950 Murphy Canyon Rd. San Diego, CA 92123 858.571.3444

2030 Project Report  
2030 Project Report  

The 2030 Project brings Jews in their 20s and 30s together to envision and create a San Diego Jewish community of 2030. This project will dr...