40 Plus and Screwed: More on Less Young Adult Engagement
Posted in the Judaism Forum
#1 Jun 24, 2013
40 Plus and Screwed: More on Less Young Adult Engagement - See more at: http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/40-plus-and-sc...
Building a sustainable community cant be just about paying for buses full of young people in hopes they will make Jewish babies.
by Michal Kohane
You might ascribe the following comments to my advanced age, shifting moods, raging hormones. I admit. I am not a young adult by any current official definition of the term. At the same time, 4 of my 6 children are still in that age bracket, so I do have a vested interest in their Jewish connectedness, and anything we do in that realm of young adult engagement.
I started writing this piece a while back but doubting its political correctness,(yes, and my moods), left it. Then last week, I sat at yet another meeting and someone, proudly sharing all the young adult activities their organization features in a big, respectful Jewish community, said to me,And after 40? What can I tell you. After 40 youre screwed.
And I have had it.
Ive had it with the constant song and dance around young adult engagement as the only promise of any Jewish life anywhere ever at all. I know, I know. How dare I. Look at Birthright. Look at Masa. Look at the service opportunities programs. Look at so many groups swarming the Land every summer. Look at the grants, requests, waiting lists! Dont you know what research shows? Didnt you read the studies? Here, let me show you the numbers.
Yes, I have seen it. In fact, some of these programs have been directly or indirectly run from my office. Ive sat in countless meetings trying to figure out new, innovative strategies and solutions to just these challenges I am deeply aware of and genuinely care about. And yet, Ive had it.
Ive had it with smug young people who bring little to the table short of age, whose presence leaves no room for anyone else, and the fact that they are 20 some, or 30 some does not make it cute. And surprise! Contrary to some belief, clueless dinosaurs did not roam the earth a few decades ago. There was always promise in young age. That is nothing new. But there was always more. It seems that now we have lost the more.
We. Yes,we, the older generation, we who placate to those younger than us and still willing to glance at us, say hi to us, never mind respond to our nagging begging repeated requests and reluctantly agree to sit on one of our prestigious boards. We, who like young parents, bend over the carriage, cooing and making stupid faces, and when we chance a smile, just melt. We, who wait like an obedient puppy with a leash in our mouth, unable to contain the wagging tail. Oh, how wonderful it is that someone half or quarter of our age might take us out for a walk so finally we can see a glimpse of the real world! We, who wrote ourselves out of relevancy.
Time magazine just recently called the milennials narcissistic, overconfident, entitled and lazy, and you know what? I can live with it that young people are a little self-centered, a little self-focused. Also contrary to some belief (and anyones memory), we were like this too! Its impossible not to. Its what makes one travel from childhood to adulthood, from a narrow me to a greater us. What is not ok is that we let them stay there; that we allow this to become our ideal, our new god we bow down to.
Now, dont get me wrong: being 26 or 36 is great fun. Then again, so is being six. Or 66, provided you have good health, good care and let us not ignore a good attitude. The rest is up for grabs. I know a 99 year old man with a witty sparkle in his eyes and a sharp mind that many 19 year olds would and should envy. I know 20 some and 30 some who seem more misplaced, tired and lifeless than my dead ancestors.
- See more at: http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/40-plus-and-sc...
Add your comments below
|Who Is Allah? (Aug '07)||2 hr||Theo||256,403|
|Messianic Jews say they are persecuted in Israel (Jun '08)||Mon||Black Ice||72,074|
|Natalie Portman Speaks Loudly For Young America...||Apr 21||treason watch||1|
|Jews who hate Trump, love America? Love Israel,...||Apr 21||yidfella BARn||4|
|Lakewood's tale of two enclaves: Orthodox influ...||Apr 21||USS LIBERTY||6|
|It's Time For Israel To Recognize That Diaspora...||Apr 21||yidfellas v USA||1|
|Two Torah talks: For Israel and for the Diaspor...||Apr 21||Lavon affair||1|
Find what you want!
Search Judaism Forum Now
Copyright © 2018 Topix LLC