More than 30 Jewish professionals were trained as Big Tent Judaism Professional Affiliates in the late fall. Eva Stern, senior director of training for BTJ, spent two days leading the group through an interactive workshop to explore new ways to increase outreach and engagement in our Jewish community, including “public space Judaism.” These programs are held in public, making them easy for people to stumble upon while out doing everyday things like grocery shopping. According to BTJ, less than half of all Jews regularly participate in Jewish institutions, so these types of programs help to bridge the growing divide of Jews who are engaged in community and those who are not. Having programs on neutral ground is the first step to welcoming someone into the community.
“By bringing this training to the Greater Phoenix area, we hope to provide more tools and opportunities to think out of the box for professionals to expand engagement in our community,” said Erin Searle, planning, funding and allocations coordinator for the Federation.
In addition to the $10,000 from the Federation to bring the training to Phoenix, BTJ also received funds from B’nei Tzedek Youth Philanthropy through the Jewish Community Foundation.