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Talking ‘bout my generation


How does a JCC serve teens who have grown up never knowing a world without smartphones, while making sure its baby boomers, who are entering retirement stay connected? And what about those millennials, a vast market that everyone wants to reach?

But most of all, what’s the best way to reach all of them?

Attendees at JCCs of North America Biennial Convention will get a chance explore this “l’dor v’dor” (from generation to generation) conundrum at the Monday, May 16 keynote plenary. Moderated by Stuart Raynor, CEO of the Robert E. Loup JCC in Denver, Colorado, Generational Sea Change: Engaging Teens, Millennials and Baby Boomers” will feature experts to address the different messaging needed to reach each of these coveted audiences.

“Teens, millennials and baby boomers are the three generations that have the greatest on JCCs and who, in turn, the JCC impacts the most,” says Robin Ballin, JCC Association’s senior vice president and director of the convention. “It’s going to be a fascinating session, given the expertise of our speakers. You’ll hear about what makes each of these groups tick and how to respond to their various needs.”

According to Ballin, we often silo our approaches to these different market segments. And while each need different messaging, hearing about them in one session will allow participants to learn how to engage boomers so they participate in programs at the JCC, while at the same time inspiring them–a generation with means– to donate. The session will also focus on successful ways to reach millennials, connect them to the JCC and the Jewish community. And renewed focus on reaching teens will allow them to develop their Jewish identities, and develop an emotional connection to the JCC, and “more importantly to their Judaism and the Jewish community in whatever form that takes,” she says.

The panel will feature Dr. Alexis Abramson, a leading industry expert and “trend spotter” for those over 50; Dr. David Bryfman chief innovation officer at the Jewish Education Project, who whose doctoral work focused on Jewish adolescent identity development and experiential Jewish education; and Rabbi Jessy Gross, of Charm City Tribe, who has come up with some winning strategies for engaging young adults in their 20s and 30s for the JCC of Greater Baltimore.

The program begins at 9:30 a.m. with a State of the Movement address from Dr. Stephen Hazan Arnoff, president and CEO of JCC Association.

Dealing with how different generations interact with the JCC, based on their life experience and expectations has always been of interest, but it became an endlessly discussed one since the release of the Pew Research Center’s landmark study “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” in 2013.

“There are many things that boomers and millennials have in common like an interest in the arts and culture and cause related activities, but each group may need to be addressed in a different way to engage them,” Ballin says. “Boomers and millennials are influencers to teens–how can we connect them all? Each of our presenters will lead a seminar following the keynote to get into the nitty-gritty of their respective generations.”

How we respond to and work with these populations determines our future. It’s a topic you won’t want to miss.

And if you haven’t registered, you still can. If your JCC brings two more people to the Biennial this year than it did in 2014, or if you bring eight delegates or more, your JCC executive director will receive a discount to attend. Sign up today here!

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