Stewart Ain’s N.Y. Minute interview with Rabbi Perry Tirschwell, “Vows To Serve The Young In Young Israel” (Nov. 29), addresses a topic of great importance, particularly here on the Upper West Side.
New York City is a hub for Jewish singles and young professionals, a unique demographic that requires its own strategic approach and consistent attention. I agree with Rabbi Tirschwell that when Jewish young professionals arrive in our community, they enter a crucial stage in their lives both professionally and religiously. But to say “there is nothing for them” is to grossly mischaracterize our community. Yes, there is always more that can be done, but the portals of entry for young Jewish singles are many and growing. The Jewish Center is one of many institutions that has devoted an enormous amount of resources to this group. We not only host a Shabbat morning Young Leadership minyan, but we aspire to be a center for Modern Orthodox life and learning where young professionals are empowered to lead and grow. We take great pride in the fact that singles are not only among our active members, they are our leaders as well.
We have a pioneering program of living room learning in rotating homes, designed for singles to meet new people, study topics that are relevant to them and feel more connected amid the anonymity of New York City. And we partnered with Kehilath Jeshurun just this past month, initiating “East Meets West,” a program for and by young professionals to meet at centers like ours for dinners, with the goal of expanding the orbits of our respective communities. We welcome and encourage creative and new ideas. And we welcome the active participation and involvement of every demographic. In the end, the strength of our community will be a function of the extent to which we can create a partnership between institutions and individuals.
The Jewish Center, Manhattan