Jewish Federation finds GA youth outreach a tricky business
Despite major efforts to include Jewish young people at the the annual gathering, more than one incident proved the generational gap hard to overcome.
At this year’s General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America, young Jews took to the streets of New Orleans to work on social service projects. They heard Jewish leaders exhort them about the dangers of the “delegitimization” of Israel. And some young Jews were ejected from the gathering when they stood up in the middle of Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to protest Israeli policies with shouts and signs.
Federation leaders made much of their effort to include young people at the the annual gathering of more than 3,000 Jewish professionals and donors that ended on November 9. Their outreach effort included subsidies for 600 students to attend the conference, most of them affiliated with campus Hillels. The program featured a focus on Jewish social service, in part to engage younger Jews, and an emphasis on efforts to counter the so-called delegitimization of the Jewish state, including on college campuses.