In cyouth


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Campaign for Youth Engagement

For sharing your hopes, thoughts and concerns about youth @ Holy Blossom Temple!

  • We held listening conversations with teens & pre-teens; parents of  pre-school, school-age and Hebrew day-school youth; educators, senior staff and our clergy.
  • On our Listening Wall we collected over a 120 post-it notes with your dreams for you(th).
  • We conducted one-on-one phone conversations with parents unable to meet with us at the temple but still wanted to participate.
  • We listened to over 300 community members and we continue the listening through the sharing of our community’s wisdoms with our Holy Blossom communities and committees.

We also thank Rabbi Karen Thomashow for her leadership, deep connection and commitment to our youth, and her reminders that this is sacred work.  We welcome Rabbi Jordan Helfman who is already stepping in to collaboration and leadership for our youth!

When we Listened, this is what we Heard:


The Listening Wall

Our Current Reality:  What we offer as a congregation does not meet everyone’s needs and expectations for youth, and congregants have many competing priorities. There is a strong desire for change, and an interest in greater relationship and sense of community.

Our Community’s Visions for the Future:

Congregational Commitment to Youth – For the interests of youth to be supported, for youth to be involved at all levels and consideration of youth to be embedded in all decision-making.

Diversity and Differentiation – To support youth in their own unique, personalized Jewish journey. This can include diversified programming, education, and volunteer offerings, worship choices, and connections with external organizations.

Deeper Community Relationships – For all clergy to be actively engaged with youth. For the congregation to support building a meaningful community for all youth.

Our CYE Team has been sharing these wisdoms with the Holy Blossom Temple Board, Senior Staff, and various committees including Education, Renewal, Transition, Worship – and these learnings are receiving a positive response from all we talk to.

What’s Next & How To Be a Part of It:

The Listening Wall

The Listening Wall

Now, we are reaching out to invite you to join us to co-create the future where we will have you(th). here. always.

We need your thoughtful and imaginative approach to creating this future. We are setting up task forces to work collaboratively to take the great ideas and make the vision happen.

Please consider joining one of these task force teams:

  • Early Attachment: Preschool and parenting Jewishly
  • Building the Relationship: the broad Jewish education experience (including, but not just religious school or day school) and opportunities to develop Jewishly based on strengths and interests
  • Bnei Mitzvah Experience: making a meaningful, personal journey to becoming a Jewish adult
  • Teens & Beyond: deepening the attachment through a diversity of opportunities that enable youth to chart their personal Jewish path
  • Building Community: family engagement and member retention
  • Overall task force coordination

Please join us:

If you have questions, want to help shape the future of youth at Holy Blossom by serving on a task force, contribute, have ideas, please talk with of our CYE Team members or email us at [email protected].

Erin O’Connor, Vision Team Chair
Sandi Smith, Vision Team Vice Chair
Emily Albert
Josh Berger
Michael Cincinatus
Jeff Dicker, Board Member
Karen Kollins
Sandra Rotholc
Barbara Sandler
Cheryl Sylvester

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