Summer camps are often the first place that young Jews actively engage in the Jewish community, and those positive experiences are key factors in determining Jewish engagement for the next generation, shaping Jewish youth into successful, capable and connected Jewish adults. Still, studies show that at least 85% of Jewish children in the U.S. do not attend Jewish summer camps.
Mosaic United’s ‘Summer Camp Pillar’ will invest in this critical touchpoint to ensure greater capacity, address the affordability crisis, higher quality camps and directors and expose parents to the value of Jewish camp. Mosaic United is committed to enhancing the summer camp experience, a unique and impactful Jewish institution with a proven track record of changing the lives of young Jews.
Israel teen trips are crucial in helping young Jews forge connections with their peers, their Jewish identities, and the land of Israel. In fact, research shows that teens who participate in travel program to Israel are better prepared to face the challenges of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on college campuses and are far more likely to return to Israel or even to immigrate. Still, only an estimated 13,000 teens take part in Israel programs annually.
Mosaic United’s ‘Teen Travel Pillar’ will establish teen trips to Israel as a ‘rite of passage,’ serving as an umbrella for the diverse network of existing programs and establishing a central system for planning, allocations, monitoring and evaluation, research, marketing and branding, and development of educational standards and curriculum.
While Jewish youth usually look forward to their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs with great anticipation, their disengagement following this coming-of-age ceremony is a disheartening widespread phenomenon in North America and beyond. In fact, following this formative stage, only 1 in 7 American Jewish teens remain involved in any form of organized Jewish life, turning their backs on camp, youth groups, informal clubs, or formal Jewish education.
Mosaic United’s ‘Teen Clubs Pillar’ will reignite teen interest and involvement in Jewish life by connecting this population with engaging Jewish programming outside the frameworks of school, camp, and organized travel. By increasing programming, enhancing staff quality and expanding reach, we will mitigate the drop-off phenomenon and help teens establish a route that suits them for their unique Jewish journeys.
Leveraging the support of Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and international supporters, Mosaic United’s ‘Campus Pillar’ provides the three leading Jewish organizations on college campuses worldwide – Hillel International, Chabad on Campus International and Olami – with the tools, funding and benchmarks they need to increase the number of meaningful interactions, educational initiatives and immersive experiences they can offer to under-engaged university students to spotlight Jewish identity and connection to Israel.
The programs include ten or more interactions with each student, delivering impactful Jewish and Israel-related content across varied topics including Israeli dancing, Shabbat retreats and learning about social justice in Jewish history. Programming on campuses is directly operated by the partner organizations and led by trained Senior Educators.
Recent data reveals that while 72% of Jewish millennials around the world actively seek out service experiences, only 18% choose to give back through Jewish organizations, as most don’t see their Jewish identities as particularly relevant to their lives. In fact, despite substantial philanthropic investment in Jewish volunteer programs, and a wide range of excellent programs to choose from, less than 3,000 young Jews choose to volunteer through Jewish immersive service programs annually.
Mosaic United has developed ‘Shalom Corps,’ an initiative in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel, and in collaboration with additional partners, that aims to dramatically increase the number of young Jews engaging in meaningful, ethical and sustainable service while exploring their Jewish identities. Shalom Corps – Mosaic United’s ‘Service Pillar’ – makes Jewish service experiences more accessible to Jewish millennials while strengthening and broadening their reach and incorporating Jewish service learning authentically within the volunteer programming. By allowing young Jewish participants to view their volunteer work through the lens of Jewish values, Shalom Corps strengthens both the service work and the identities of the volunteers themselves.
Young professionals are more geographically dispersed, move more frequently, and stay in jobs for less time than in previous generations. As a result, they suffer from loneliness and depression, and are constantly in search of a community, a connection to something greater than themselves. Still, recent research shows that one-third of millennials do not identify with any one religion, making accessing or creating a community a serious challenge.
Mosaic United’s ‘Young Professionals Pillar’ will expose young Jewish women and men to a wide range of opportunities for Jewish engagement, orienting them with the vast offerings within the Jewish community and creating new experiences that suit their needs and embrace the unique ‘ecology’ of their lives, such as Young Professionals Camp and DIY experiences.
The nearly 1 million Israelis living outside of Israel represent an important space with it’s own unique needs and qualities. In many cases, this population tend not to join existing Jewish communities and institutions.
Mosaic United’s ‘Israelis in the Diaspora Pillar’ aims to establish a network of local centers of activity focused on strengthening Jewish identity, creating a feeling of belonging and providing Jewish and Israeli educational opportunities for Israelis between the ages of 8-35 living abroad. Working together with international funders, local Jewish community organizations and social activists, Mosaic United’s platform will strengthen the Israeli and Jewish identities of Israelis living abroad by providing community-wide engagement events, supplementary education about Jewish concepts and Israeli culture, immersive Jewish experiences and trips throughout the calendar year, and activities, workshops and lectures for young couples and families.
There are more than 700,000 Russian-speaking Jews living outside the FSU and Israel, and this group is typically not religiously engaged or connected to communal institutions. While they tend to be more Israel-engaged, and more comfortable in cultural and academic programs than in religious/spiritual ones, their overall opportunities for engagement are limited.
Mosaic United’s ‘Russian Jews Pillar’ will offer opportunities for young Russian-speaking Jews to connect with a wide variety of cultural and academic programs that allow them to find their place in Jewish life in a way that meets their unique needs.
With contemporary Jewish communities changing rapidly, Mosaic United will invest in the development and support of Jewish educational, professional and lay leaders, building the field and ensuring that more organizations and communities have access to the wealth of opportunities needed to strengthen their leadership.
Mosaic United’s ‘Jewish Leadership Pillar' will focus on guiding the best talent in the field into the Jewish professional/educational arena (early career interventions), ensuring that these professionals enjoy a satisfying career with room to grow and professional development opportunities (mid-career), and working with the lay leaders involved to make sure that they share the same values and will support their leaders on the ground.
While Jewish communities and organization are developing excellent programs and initiatives, young Jews around the world are less affiliated with Jewish life and more distant from Israel than ever before. Additionally, Jewish philanthropists and foundations find themselves funding duplicate efforts across several markets with little visibility or impact.
Mosaic United’s ‘Digital Pillar’ will leverage the potential of bleeding edge technologies to broaden the reach of Jewish programs and initiatives and deepen the impact of every dollar invested in the Jewish world.
Exploring anything new can be intimidating and we recognize that many young Jews may first connect with Judaism through experiences seen as non-intimidating, like social activities, networking events and Shabbat dinners. We will ensure that our ecosystem is full of opportunities to connect young Jews in ways that feel most comfortable and non-threatening.
Our mission cannot be achieved without robust and compelling Jewish content underlying everything we do. We will hold our partners accountable to offer content that enriches, challenges, inspires and empowers the next generation.
The cornerstone of creating deep connections is delivering transformative experiences to serve as a catalyst for further exploration. We will seek to increase the number and availability of high quality experiences.
Transformative experiences with engaging content require remarkable people to bring the message and experience home. We will work to acquire, train, and empower, strong educators, engagers, and role models to ensure that our programs and touch points are truly transformative.
Collaboration is absolutely imperative to ensuring ongoing engagement of young Jews. We will ensure partners in our ecosystem are actively engaging with each other to create an exponentially stronger and longer-lasting connection.
It is crucial that our ecosystem is at the forefront of rapidly evolving digital technology to ensure that we engage with young Jews on the platforms they already use. We will invest in a platform that will offer compelling Jewish content and applications, allowing young Jews to foster connections, and learn about opportunities.