We recently saw this article describing a study on working with Jewish teens. It validates much of what we do. As the article says, lots of this is obvious to teens and to those who work closely with teens – as we do. The study is meant to educate the community at-large. Allow us to offer our commentary below in RED.
New study offers tips on engaging Jewish teens
By Gil Shefler · March 18, 2013
NEW YORK (JTA) -- Trying to interest teenagers in activities is difficult, parents and teachers know well, especially given what technology has done to the attention spans of young people.
So how to get them to partake in doing Jewish over other pursuits?
The Jim Joseph Foundation commissioned two consulting firms to carry out a two-year study to figure it out. BTW Informing Change and Rosov Advisors mined data from 21 organizations geared toward Jewish and non-Jewish teens.
Their conclusions: Hire good staff, be flexible on attendance and target teens through social media.
As a teen might say, “Duh!”
WE’D SAY THE SAME, BUT WE’D BE MORE POLITE ABOUT IT. AND WE HAVE MORE TO SAY, FOR EXAMPLE, “DON’T WASTE THEIR TIME.”
By Andrew Silow-Carroll
When I went to Hebrew school in the 1970s, we were still using textbooks from the 1950s. The girls in the illustrations wore short dresses and Mary Janes; the boys wore pie-sized yarmulkes, shorts, and neckties — in their homes!
Somehow I grew up to live a highly engaged Jewish life, but not until I shook off a perception that Judaism was for, well, prim little girls and nerdy boys with neckties and gigantic yarmulkes.
The Partnership’s slogan is “Bring Jewish Learning to Life.” Not “WE Bring Jewish Learning to Life.”
This is intentional. Our mission is to engage young people and their families, from early childhood through the teenage years, in meaningful Jewish educational experiences – experiences so meaningful and so relevant that the participants will ultimately feel inspired to take charge of their own Jewish journey, to “Bring Jewish Learning to Life” for the rest of their lives.