Next Generation Judaism: How College Students and Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations
Winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Education and Jewish Identity
The Jewish world is changing before our eyes. The traditional notions of what it means to be a Jew, what Jewish organizations look like and what Jewish leadership means are no longer working, leaving many Jewish organizations in a struggle for survival. Many Jewish leaders are afraid that this will only get worse as the millennials--the "my way, right away, why pay" generation--begin to enter adulthood.
But college campuses are incubators of new and vibrant expressions of Jewish life. With motivation and entrepreneurial spirit, and without the limitations of cynicism or institutional history, students are inventing and reinventing Jewish community, Jewish prayer, Jewish service and Jewish learning, and Hillel is right there with them. Each chapter of this book explores innovations developed on the University of Pennsylvania campus and shows how they can be applied to synagogues, Federations and JCCs to help them reinvent themselves so that they are better able to meet the changing needs of American Jews.
This is an essential resource for lay leaders, rabbis, cantors and anyone who wants to build a brighter Jewish future for all Jews and the institutions that support them.
Next Generation Judaism is the must-read essential playbook for building a more vibrant, more engaged Jewish future. Mike Uram offers up all of the keys for expansive, dynamic Jewish life--one that will, if we're smart enough to heed his wisdom, absolutely transform our communities and our lives in necessary, needed ways. Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author, "Nurture the Wow" and "Surprised by God"
"Next Generation Judaism is a must-read for all who care about ensuring a strong, vibrant Jewish future. Rabbi Mike Uram, a long-time leader in the Hillel movement, has been at the forefront of helping today's young adults find meaning in Jewish life. Now he has taken insights from the Hillel experience and created a 21st century roadmap for meeting millennial Jews where they are and connecting them with each other, with Jewish values and with the global Jewish people. Lynn Schusterman, founder and co-chair, Schusterman Foundation
In this book, Rabbi Uram has truly succeeded in conveying key information about engaging Millennials, utilizing multiple Jewish intelligences, and building more impactful networks. Every leader striving toward authentic ways to incubate change and build a more responsive organization will find this a practical, probative and intriguing tool. Naomi Adler, CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
A savvy and thoughtful guide to revitalizing our institutions and inspiring your Jews. Rabbi David Wolpe, author, "David: The Divided Heart"
This book is a concise, readable guide for anyone eager to strengthen the Jewish future. But don t be fooled into thinking that s all Mike Uram is doing. On a deeper level, he delivers an incisive critique of how our focus on Jewish institutions and traditional communities damages what should be our real mission to enable Jews to be creators of Jewish life for themselves. His ideas are both sensible and radical; they challenge and inspire. Pay attention to this innovative thinker. He has a lot to say. Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief, "Forward"
I was nodding in agreement and internally cheering as I read Next Generation Judaism. We know Jewish organizations need to change but Mike Uram offers clear, practical and proven guidance on how to actually do it. I want my entire team to read this book. Angela Warnick Buchdahl, senior rabbi, Central Synagogue
Mike Uram has given us a gift: A bird's eye view of how a legacy institution serving the Jewish community can literally re-invent itself from within. I'm all for supporting entrepreneurial efforts to re-energize the Jewish community and to engage millennials. But Rabbi Uram reminds us that any Jewish institution is capable of intrapreneurship and he provides a road map for how to get there. Rabbi Sid Schwarz, senior fellow, Clal; author, "Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future"
Mike Uram s forward thinking and expansive take on the work of engagement holds great promise to revolutionize not only Jewish communal life, but also to have a far-reaching impact on government, civil society, and all sectors that inhabit the public square. Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly
In Next Generation Judaism, Rabbi Mike Uram has written an important book with major implications for the future of American Jewish life. Mike lovingly challenges the existing models from the perspective that only a truly reflective practitioner can offer. Reporting on the successes that a large Jewish institution had in reinventing itself, Mike offers an inspiring pathway of possibility for all organizational leaders looking to make a substantive change. Most important, Mike is a true optimist, and he writes with a vision of a different Jewish community that motivates the reader to make apply these lessons far and wide. Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, executive director, Mechon Hadar; author, "Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building Vibrant Jewish Communities""
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