Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Takin’ it to the schools: Outreach efforts go public

Rabbi Adam Raskin of Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Md.,
brings kosher subs to a local public high school to connect
with Jewish students there. (Rabbi Adam Raskin)
When Rabbi Adam Raskin arrived at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Md., last year, he was determined to reach out to teenagers uninvolved with the Conservative synagogue’s youth activities.

He approached the principal of Winston Churchill High School, also in Potomac, with a proposal to bring food to the school periodically, so he could schmooze with Jewish students during their lunch periods.

“I decided that the best way to connect with them is to go to where they are,” he said.

Raskin is not alone in that thinking. Jewish groups have long been reaching out to teens to fight post-b’nai mitzvah burnout. For several years now, some organizations have been taking Judaism directly to teens in their schools.-- Josh Lipowsky, JTA

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