(February 22, 2022, United States, JNS Wire) Today, the Jewish Youth Pledge—a global initiative that asks Jewish teens and young adults, ages 13 to 24, to commit to strengthening the Jewish community throughout their lifetime—announced that it has surpassed 5,500 pledges and is releasing a digital Time Capsule and turnkey educational program for its partners. These new innovative elements connected to the initiative – which were created by leading Jewish educator Rabbi Dr. Benji Levy — will guide teens and young adults around the globe to reflect on their Jewish identity and explore how they want to maintain their Jewish connection in the future.
“I created the Jewish Youth Pledge to present Jewish teens and young adults with a connection to their Jewish identity and Israel that is anchored in personal responsibility and agency,” says Jewish Youth Pledge and Jewish Future Pledge Founder, Mike Leven. “Both the Jewish Youth Pledge and Jewish Future Pledge encourage sharing stories and values with others about why the Jewish future matters. The Jewish Youth Pledge sets in motion the process of becoming active leaders and contributors in the global Jewish community at a young age.”
The full text of the Jewish Youth Pledge – which all pledgers sign as part of their lifelong commitment to the Jewish people – is included below.
The Pledge’s partner organizations will now have access to a unique, turnkey educational program. It will be deployed after a peak immersive experience, like Summer Camp or a retreat, to ground participants’ commitment in long-lasting memories. To enhance their Pledge, teens and young adults are asked to take the Jewish Youth Pledge and write a letter answering questions such as, “If you could meet yourself in the future, what would you hope to hear that you had accomplished or contributed?” The letter is then sealed in an electronic vault – a Time Capsule – which is owned and maintained by Jewish Youth Pledge as a safe digital storage space for each pledger’s letter. The Jewish Youth Pledge Time Capsule will reshare each letter with its writer every 5 years. This will allow organizations to stay in touch with participants as they move forward in their lives and give the participants the opportunity to connect back to a seminal moment in their lives and the organization that made it possible.
After taking the Pledge at the BBYO Convention, Louie P, from Portland, Oregon shared: “I signed the Pledge to give back to my Judaism, and to continue the legacy of my people. The process was very easy, yet it can have such a meaningful impact on someone as well.”
“Signing the Pledge was very easy for me, as I believe that it is so important to continue my Jewish journey and become a leader in our community,” said Ruby B, from Sydney, Australia, adding, “This is a good way of ensuring I stay involved.”
“The Time Capsule offers participants and partners alike a way to stay in touch and remember the magic they created together,” says Hadara Ishak, Jewish Youth Pledge and Jewish Future Pledge Chief Operating Officer. “Thousands of teens at the BBYO convention had the opportunity to participate in the educational program, explore what being Jewish means to them, and then took the Pledge to cement their commitment. I heard that they were elated about this experience and swapped ideas as they buzzed about what they were writing. We know future pledgers and partners alike will experience this same excitement – and then get to relive it for years to come!”
The Jewish Youth Pledge’s digital Time Capsule and educational module are being test-marketed by Birthright, the Foundation for Jewish Camping, BBYO, JNF, AEPi, Olami, and NCSY, and will be shared with a larger network of Jewish organizations in the coming months.
To view photos of the event, click here.
To view the Jewish Youth Pledge’s official video, click here.
The full text of the Jewish Youth Pledge: “I hereby pledge to act today and throughout my lifetime to strengthen the Jewish people and Israel. I make this commitment because I have a responsibility to ensure that my generation writes the next chapter of the Jewish story and remains a strong link in the chain of generations.”