Engaging a New Generation: What Jews Can Learn From the Minnesota Opera

This article was first published on MinnPost.com on September 20, 2011.  

The under-40 crowd at Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis' 22nd Annual Benefit mingled, drank and ate before the show.

“They’re not joiners.” “They just don’t care.” “We don’t have the budget for it.” “We don’t know how to reach them.” These and many other reasons are why many Jewish organizations don’t take the time to engage, inspire, and connect with Jews in their 20s-40s. . . . I’ve heard those excuses and many more.

But our Jewish community ignores this generation at its peril; fail to “hook” us now and we’ll be gone forever. As the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur approach, and synagogues look into their pews to see aging crowds filling the seats, this Jewish community must examine this issue.

Luckily, or not, the problems our community faces engaging a younger generation are not unique. It behooves us to examine success stories within our Jewish community, and those of other local organizations. For example, from Tempo, the Minnesota Opera’s young adults group, which had its smash-hit Opera Tasting event for over 100 young opera lovers this weekend.

So what lessons can the Twin Cities Jewish community learn from Tempo?  And which local Jewish organizations are already learning and implementing those lessons?

Click here to learn the answers to those questions and more in the full article “Engaging a new generation: What Jews can learn from the Minnesota Opera” on MinnPost.com.