A recent Pew Study has identified the changing nature of Jewish identity in America today, and in young adults in particular. Hillel is on the front lines, working to engage Jewish college students more deeply in personally relevant and meaningful Jewish life.
On October 31, Hillel hosted a panel discussion and Q&A conference call on the Pew study findings for our professionals and stakeholders. Panelist Rabbi Julie Roth, Executive Director of the Center for Jewish Life at Princeton University, explains, “This study gives voice to data we already know to be true on campus.” An audio recording of the conversation is now available (.mp3 file).
The panel also featured Hillel International President and CEO Eric Fingerhut, and Dr. Steven M. Cohen, Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
The students engaged by Hillel every day are a direct representation of this changing landscape of millennials’ and emerging adults’ connection to Judaism. And yet, this study provides an opportunity to advance a national conversation about Hillel’s potential to continue its work in creating a sense of belonging and meaning for Jewish young adults, so that they may explore their own connections to rich Jewish traditions and share them with the world. The three panelists on this call provide exciting suggestions for where to go from here.
We encourage using this conversation as a tool to catalyze further dialogue on the topic, and to help Hillel continue to advance our work.