Tomorrows Generation of Leaders Helping to Make an Inclusive Jewish Community Today

Allison Lazarus, a Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel alumna, is helping to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people. Allison, who participated in the intensive five-week trip to Israel for high school students in 2009, recently created a brochure for her synagogue with advice for intermarried couples raising Jewish children. As reported in Bronfmanim: The Alumni Magazine of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships, Allison felt motivated after participating in the Fellowship program to make the Jewish community more inclusive: “I really wanted to make young families feel more secure, and to open a place for conversation with no agenda of a certain level of Jewish literacy.”

Allison developed the brochure as a Ma’aseh Action Project, which provides Fellows with the opportunity to implement ideas developed during the Israel trip and enables them to impact the wider Jewish community. Through research on the topic of intermarriage, interviews with intermarried couples and with the support of an advisor from the Fellowship and her rabbi, Lewis Kamrass, Allison made her idea a reality. The brochure is now available at her synagogue.

We at JOI commend Allison for her work on this project and are thankful that organizations like the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel support such endeavors. Students like Allison are the future of our Jewish community, and we are always thrilled to learn when young people take positive steps to create greater inclusion in the Jewish community. As the next generation of leaders, more are coming to understand that a vibrant Jewish future depends on our ability to better welcome in intermarried families, unaffiliated Jews, and all others on the periphery of Jewish life.

To hear more from young people about inclusion and the future, I invite you to join us for our upcoming conference, Judaism2030, which will feature a panel of high school students speaking about their notions of Jewish community of the future. What do they expect the Jewish community to look like, and what will “peoplehood” mean when they are adults? Register today to find out!

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