In recent years, the American Jewish community has focused much of its engagement efforts on capturing under-engaged young people. Self-perceptions of decline coupled with diagnoses of disinterest have led to fears that the “next generation”— and with it, the Jewish future itself — was in jeopardy. The result has been a major investment in outreach and identity-building endeavors aimed at youth.
As the global economy lurches fitfully back from the precipice of disaster, many in the Jewish philanthropic community might expect a slow but unwavering return to normalcy: a steady influx of resources, renewed funder commitment, and reliability of near-term as well as long-term giving.
Although it is not uncommon to perceive age-old Jewish rituals as rooted in stone or in Sinai, all ritual was at one point new. Whether inspired by historical events, communal circumstance or spiritual osmosis from surrounding cultures, Jewish rituals have emerged and evolved as a means to connect with history, with community or with notions of the Divine.
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