Regarding “What’s Next After Birthright Next?” (Editor’s column, May 22): The lack of creative thinking in crafting these programs is pretty shocking. Perhaps none of the people in leadership who are thinking through post-Birthright options is a parent of Birthright alums who are secularists, but nonetheless have a strong sense of Jewish pride and identity. Or perhaps they are too far removed from the mindset of these alums to have a sense of what would really work to sustain the connectedness and emotional high provided by Birthright.
Rather than patronizing these young adults with reward points or trying to lure them into religious practice, why not create some truly enticing and innovative programming that focuses on social, intellectual, spiritual and cultural engagement? If we stay within the confines of normative Jewish communal thinking and can’t think out of the box, it’s not surprising that these initiatives aren’t meeting with greater success.