New York in­spires Reps

The Jewish Chronicle - - News -

Eight cam­pus rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Jeneration, the Re­form-backed project to en­gage young peo­ple, have trav­elled to the united states looking for tips on run­ning vi­brant uni­ver­sity projects.

the reps, from uni­ver­si­ties in Lon­don, cam­bridge, sus­sex, Birm­ing­ham, Not­ting­ham, manch­ester and Leeds, vis­ited in­sti­tu­tions in­clud­ing the he­brew union col­lege — the de­vel­op­ment cen­tre of Re­form Ju­daism — and the Jewish the­o­log­i­cal sem­i­nary dur­ing the week-long stay in New York.

they heard about “storahtelling”, in which to­rah is taught through con­tem­po­rary per­for­mance, and “ha­zon”, an ini­tia­tive which links farm­ers and syn­a­gogues to en­able com­mu­ni­ties to buy food from lo­cal sources.

Naomi min­sky, Jeneration’s manch­ester cam­pus rep, said: “some may won­der why our trip was to New York and not to is­rael where we could have seen some equally ex­cit­ing Jewish ini­tia­tives, as well as ben­e­fit­ing from the spir­i­tual ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing in the Jewish home­land.

“But that was not the point. Jeneration wanted to show us how a com­mu­nity in the di­as­pora can have the con­fi­dence to be in­no­va­tive and ac­tive.

“New York em­braces egal­i­tar­ian post-de­nom­i­na­tional Ju­daism and there is a real sense of pride and ex­cite­ment in the ac­tiv­i­ties go­ing on over there.”

the group also met stu­dent leader peers at columbia uni­ver­sity to dis­cuss the chal­lenge of over­com­ing the de­nom­i­na­tional is­sues which can ham­per re­la­tions be­tween Jewish groups on cam­pus.

ms min­sky added: “i took so much from the trip — not only that change is pos­si­ble and can hap­pen as a prod­uct of hard work, bold­ness and con­fi­dence, but i now feel in­creas­ingly aware that it is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to cre­ate and con­trib­ute to the com­mu­nity that we en­vis­age.”

Rabbi shoshana Boyd gelfand, the Re­form move­ment’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said the trip “shows how se­ri­ously we are com­mit­ted to nur­tur­ing our fu­ture leaders.

“We wanted them to ex­pe­ri­ence first hand the vast pos­si­bil­i­ties for Jewish life and to learn from the plu­ral­ist model which per­vades the New York Jewish com­mu­nity.”

Rabbi tony Bay­field, head of the Re­form move­ment, said it was “es­sen­tial” for stu­dents to learn from their amer­i­can coun­ter­parts.

Jeneration hopes to ex­pand its ser­vices to Bris­tol and ox­ford next year.

Look to the fu­ture: Jeneration’s cam­pus reps on their New York trip

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