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In My Opinion: Operation Joseph - The Rescue of American Jewish Youth

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Publication Date: January 1993

Publisher(s): Jewish Communal Service Association of North America

Author(s): Jack Boeko

Series: Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 70:1

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Jewish Identification; Outreach; Youth

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Since the publication of the Council of Jewish Federations (CJF) 1990 National Jewish Population Survey, there has been much agonizing by the American Jewish community. New initiatives to enhance Jewish education and outreach efforts to intermarried families are underway. However, there has been no major initiative of outreach to youth that attempts to reconnect them to the total community. Operation Joseph will be that initiative. This generation of youth and the next will have extensive choices of affiliation and volunteerism within and without the Jewish community. Operation Joseph would encompass many specific and concrete components; some examples:

1) The emergency campaign to create a community endowment fund equal to 50% of the annual UJA objective. 2) The creation of community youth departments 3) The Israel connection - every Jewish community will allocate $1000 in the name of every Jewish teenager on his or her thirteenth birthday, to be withdrawn by the teens on their sixteenth, seventeenth, or eighteenth birthday as partial payment toward an approved Israel trip program, to be followed up by post-trip programming.