Posted on June 22, 2011
Repair the World has released a detailed study on contemporary Jewish young adults and their attitudes and behaviors towards community service. I thank them for all they have done to highlight the field of Jewish service and know this study will lead to lots of important conversations, programs, etc.
I think it would be great if someone studied the same issues but focused on an often overlooked population, namely tweens and teens. Many of the efforts in the organized Jewish community today (think PJ Library, Birthright Israel, Moishe House) are focused on early childhood, college and post college years and we do not put as much energy into the tween and teen years as we should. Aside from Jewish camping and day schools we neglect this age cohort. I believe this is why we spend so much time, energy and money on programming for college, post college and young professionals but it doesn’t have to be that way. If we invested in tweens and teens and linked the silos with regard to service we would be able to meaningful engage tweens and teens during middle school and high school. That is 7 years that we often lose people Jewishly and as we know we sometimes never get them back.
In the past I have pointed out issues with studies and hope there is a funder or organizational leader reading this and look forward to working with them on a study to learn about the attitudes and behaviors of tweens and teens.