Declining denominational affiliation and synagogue membership, alongside continued interest in Jewish practice among millennials, and the rise of an innovative Jewish ecosystem leads to some possible initial conclusions.
Current mainstream institutions, built and designed to serve primarily the “Boomer” generation do not resonate as much with millennial Jews. Moreover, these institutions are often geared less to attract the unengaged but rather work with those who are already engaged.
Beyond institutional structure, style, and even geography, Jewish leaders must reexamine the purpose and meaning those institutions espouse as their raison’s d’etre. Young adult Jews must explicitly define and connect to this meaning, which was once more implicit.
Many millennials are developing different concepts of what is and is not important to being a Jew in the 21st century United States. This has implications for community and engagement professionals as well as for researchers.