Mitzvah Bar: A New Model for the Young Adult Jewish Community

By Laurel E. Klein

Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion School of Jewish Communal Service, April 2009

Young Jewish adults in America have relatively low levels of measurable Jewish behavior in the traditional communal sense. Their low engagement in Jewish Community Centers, large synagogues, and Federations is striking in comparison to adults over 40 who have married and started a family. Where do young Jewish adults go to find community, if the traditional communal institutions are not relevant to them? And what can be offered that will meet Jews in their 20's and 30's where they are at? This paper offers an answer: "Mitzvah Bar," a Jewish space centered around a bar, live music venue, cafe, and community-led programming fostered through a fellowship program. Based on material from multiple research methods including interviews, an extensive literature review, a focus group, and a survey, this paper responds to and pulls from successful community models, recommendations of young Jewish adults, and the findings of leading sociologists and researchers in the field of Jewish communal service to address the needs of young Jewish adults.

Topic: Programming, Young Adults, Culture, Engagement, Affiliation, Community Building

Name of Publication: HUC-JIR School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (formerly School of Jewish Communal Service) Masters Theses

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Genre: Thesis

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Klein, Laurel E. Mitzvah Bar: A New Model for the Young Adult Jewish Community. HUC-JIR School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (formerly School of Jewish Communal Service) Masters Theses. Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion School of Jewish Communal Service. April 2009: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=5132


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