Our Jewish future lies with our teens, yet we know today that only a small percentage of post b’nai mitzvah youth are being engaged in Jewish life.
This February, Baltimore will play host to a number of national Jewish teen convenings that could shape the way we approach this demographic.
From February 11-15, teens, philanthropists, Jewish professionals and communal leaders will participate in two signature teen events – a Summit on Jewish Teens and BBYO’s International Convention 2016. The two events, centered around teen engagement, are expected to bring together approximately 3,000 teens, funders, practitioners and leaders from across the country.
As part of The Summit, The Associated will host a community dessert reception at the Baltimore Convention Center prior to BBYO’s opening ceremonies. Baltimore leadership are invited to join their peers at this event.
Attendees at The Summit on Jewish Teens will explore how to effectively reach, inspire and engage Jewish teens in new and creative ways. The program will feature roundtables and panels on topics such as engagement, social entrepreneurship, social media and technology and partnerships. New York Times commentator and author, David Brooks, will serve as keynote in a session on engaging teens through character and values.
In addition, Baltimore’s Jewish teens will have the opportunity to meet peers from across the country, sharing their experiences about Jewish life and what it means to be a Jewish teen in Baltimore.
During the week, Federation and Foundation professionals from the 10 communities that are part of the Jim Joseph Funders Collaborative will meet at The Associated to discuss teen initiatives, education and engagement priorities and measures of success.
The Associated has made a major commitment to teen education and engagement – having received a five-year matching grant of up to $1.525 million from The Jim Joseph Foundation for a Center for Teen Engagement headquartered at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC and managed by the JCC on behalf of the entire community. In addition to working with the many existing teen initiatives in the community, the Center for Teen Engagement in Baltimore will feature three new offerings: a Teen Innovation Internship, a Jewish Teen Professionals Fellowship and a Lay Teen Advocates Program.