Here is a sense of the ideology of the leaders of the new organizations and they will someday head the established ones.
Any trends? Is it what you expected? Notice the day school graduates did not remain Orthodox, so that Orthodox who have the Avi-Chai definition of leadership remains at the 10% mark. We expected already the lack of Antisemitism as a drive and a lack of us-them relationship with the world. So this means that those of you under 40 who do have the us-them divide may feel alienated from the community’s leaders.
Key findings of the Avi Chai report on young Jewish leaders
By Jacob Berkman · April 12, 2010
A team of six researchers studied Jews between the age of 22 and 40, who serve as Jewish leaders, which they defined as those who have spearheaded new Jewish initiatives, direct existing mainstream Jewish organizations or somehow are thought leaders or activists on Jewish endeavors.The researchers interviewed some 250 leaders across country, but claim to have identified more than 3,000 who might be considered young Jewish leaders.
Among the key findings
* They do not feel threatened by Antisemitism.
* They prefer to reject us-them relationships with non-Jews and want to be inclusive of non-Jews in their programing.
* They hold strong views on the organized Jewish community and need for new ways of organizing it and are critical of federations, traditional synagogues and agencies that engage in protective activities.
* While many believe that most young Jewish leaders totally buck the mainstream of Judaism, the report suggests that a large segment actually involve themselves in those organizations such as Jewish federations, Friends of the IDF and AIPAC. “It’s not true they want nothing to do with traditional causes, especially those who are economically secure and relate to the networking core of traditional Jewish organizations.”
* Around 40 percent of Jewish leaders attended day school, only 10-11 percent of those are Orthodox.
* Two thirds attended Jewish summer camps.
* Half have spent more than four months of study in Israel.
* They believe that Jewish peoplehood means the celebration of diaspora Jewish culture that is rich, diverse and inclusive.
* Most do not see Israel as central to Jewish identity and peoplehood, and there is a broad range of how much criticism about Israel they can tolerate.
On a similar note we have to congratulate Rabbi Ari Weiss of Uri L’Tzedek who won a Joshua Venture Grant. Uri L’Tzedek is defined as created to “engage, empower, and inspire the American Orthodox Jewish community to enact social change both within and beyond its own communal borders.” For the other 2010 winners- here. For past years- here.