Young Adults

Overview 

Jewish Community, On Your Terms

A starting place for young adults to get involved in Bay Area Jewish life 

Are you looking to connect with your Jewish community and meet new friends, volunteer, network with young professionals, or take on leadership roles? If so, you've come to the right place. We know that Jewish life isn’t as easy to find out west, but the good news is that it’s here for you – however you identify Jewishly –and ready to help you build community.

We believe that community building happens best through personal relationships, so we encourage you to reach out to the professionals and leaders listed below – they'd love to connect! Depending on what you’re looking for, we recommend starting with any one or more of these places:

  1. Our Bay Area Young Adult Connectors are your peers on the ground looking to build relationships with diverse young adults seeking community and connection in local Jewish life. Contact one of them for a chat and learn more about ways you can get involved!
     
  2. Learn about different organizations and programs in the Bay Area for young adults on our resource page and in our Facebook group. For occasional updates on local programming for Jewish young adults, subscribe to our newsletter.
     
  3. Interested in developing your volunteer leadership skills? Check out our Federation Fellows program, which educates participants in nonprofit decision-making and promotes a sense of belonging for up to 20 individuals to be the next leaders of the Jewish community. If you feel ready to dive right into Jewish communal leadership now, reach out to Dona Standel, the Federation’s Senior Program Manager for Leadership Development, for a conversation.
     
  4. There are many ways to experience Israel with young adult peers. We run Bay Area Birthright trips every summer and winter (currently on hold due to COVID-19), and also offer grant and scholarship opportunities for Israel travel – on the program of your choice – for young adults up to age 26. Learn more about the Israel Within Reach grant and Israel Experience Scholarships and how to apply.
     
  5. To explore what it means for you to be a strategic and savvy philanthropist, reach out to Alaia Zeno, Major Gifts Officer for Next Generation & Young Families at the Federation. Learn how to make the most impact with your giving and involvement, while gaining a broader understanding of the Federation's overall philanthropic footprint.
Programs 

Birthright Israel

Taglit-Birthright Israel is a free, 10-day immersive experience in Israel for Jewish young adults, ages 18-32. Through visits to Jewish historical and holy sites, authentic encounters with Israeli peers, and fun outdoor adventures, this unforgettable experience strengthens personal Jewish identity, Jewish communities, and connections with Israel. Over 650,000 Jews from around the world have gone on a Birthright trip – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to be missed!   

The Federation is a proud supporter and financial sponsor of Birthright Israel. Each year, we send eight buses of 40 participants each on a special Bay Area Community trip, staffed with local educators and mentors who can connect participants to Bay Area Jewish life upon their return.

Bay Area Trips

Go to Israel with your Bay Area peers! The Federation partners with Israel Outdoors, the largest provider of Taglit-Birthright Israel outings, to offer trips during winter and summer exclusively for Bay Area residents, ages 22-26. It’s the perfect way to get both the essential Birthright experience and to make new friends who live in the Bay Area.

Trips are currently on hold due to COVID-19, but future dates will be listed here. For questions or additional information, contact us.

Volunteer to Staff a Trip

The Federation seeks local young adults to volunteer for Birthright staff positions. Ideal candidates are energetic, passionate, and dedicated individuals who are up for an intensive and rewarding experience. Staffing criteria, requirements, and application will be posted when trips resume.

Leadership 

Meet the Bay Area Young Adult Peer Connectors

We are lucky to live in one of the most innovative, creative, and diverse Jewish communities in North America and believe that there is somewhere for every Jewish young adult here to find meaning and connection. Whether you grew up steeped in a Jewish upbringing, or were never quite sure what being Jewish meant to you, or you've sometimes thought "I'm only Jew-ish,” we want to hear more about your unique journey.

Our Young Adult Peer Connectors can help you find those opportunities that will pique your interest or motivate you to make a change and connect you with the people that share your passions and interests. They are excited to get to know you and support you in finding a sense of belonging and community within Jewish life.

Nicole Hakimi, ENGAJ

Born and bred in New York City, after a brief stint living in Israel Nicole has made Silicon Valley her home for the last six years. She is passionate about the Jewish community and loves meeting new people, which makes running ENGAJ a true delight for her.

Nicole has worked previously at the Tanger Hillel at Brooklyn College and JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa. For fun, Nicole plays tournament Mah Jongg.

CONTACT NICOLE

 

Lorenn Kassel, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Lorenn hails from the East Coast but has been falling in love with her West Coast lifestyle daily, for the last 7 years. She is fortunate to work in a space that focuses on community, connection, Jewish values, and bringing moments of delight into the lives of others. When it comes to personal delight, Lorenn enjoys riding her bicycle through San Francisco, eating delicious foods from local restaurants, escaping to fictitious worlds through reading and designing floral arrangements and installations!

Lorenn thrives off of good energy and meaningful conversation. Don't hesitate to send her a message, she can't wait to meet you!

EMAIL LORENN

 

Shiriel King Abramson, Congregation Beth Am

A lifelong resident of the Bay Area, Shiriel is thrilled to co-create a joyful Jewish community and would love to get to know you. Shiriel loves tap dancing, challah baking, theater improvising, and exploring the many trails in the Bay. 

Before joining The Orchard, Shiriel was an electoral organizer during the 2020 presidential election. In college, she studied American Studies with a concentration in Social Justice and a minor in Spanish. She loves learning, reading, and hearing about people’s awkward zoom moments. Please say hello!

Email Shiriel

 

Dyanna Loeb, OneTable

Born and raised in the East Bay, Dyanna Loeb has lived in Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Kingston, Jamaica. She is passionate about elevating Jewish histories and cultures of communities throughout the diaspora. A poet, dancer, and MC, she loves exploring art as a tool for healing and bringing people together. Dyanna previously worked with Hebrew Free Loan and JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa.

She is thrilled to be supporting young adults in creating meaningful Shabbat dinner gatherings in her role as a OneTable Field Fellow. Fun fact: Dyanna has danced in Caribbean carnival parades in Jamaica, Miami, Hollywood, and San Francisco for the past 5 years!

Email Dyanna

 

Avital Raff, The Kitchen

Avital Raff loves working at the intersections of social justice and Jewish life. Avital spent much of college leading Hillel’s social justice initiatives, interning for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and now as the Community Organizer and Peer Connector for The Kitchen SF. Avital is thrilled to be working to build and sustain communities and relationships with Jewish young adults.

You can find her biking, practicing yoga, and having elaborate Shabbat meals with her roommates.

Email Avital 

 

Resources 

There are numerous young adult communities for you to explore in the Bay Area.  

The Bay Area is rich with organizations building community with and for young adults. Below is a listing of young adult communities we’ve compiled to help you participate in a wide variety of educational, leadership, volunteer, and social opportunities.

All organizations are located in San Francisco unless otherwise specified.

Arts and Culture

  1. Jewish Film Institute - The Jewish Film Institute inspires communities in San Francisco and around the world to expand their understanding of Jewish life through film, media, and dialogue. JFI hosts annual movie festivals, Winterfest and the Jewish Film Festival, and has a wide array of media on their website. Connect with them on Facebook.
  2. Jewish Studio Project (East Bay) - JSP empowers individuals of all levels of Jewish knowledge and arts experience to activate their creativity, gain new insights and address challenging communal issues. JSP works with synagogues, nonprofits, Hillels, and other Jewish communities. Connect with them on Facebook.
  3. Contemporary Jewish Museum - Through innovative exhibitions and programs, the CJM makes the diversity of the Jewish experience relevant for a 21st century audience. Their Night at the Jewseum program is specifically designed for young adults. Connect with them on Facebook.
  4. Atiq: Jewish Maker Institute - Atiq empowers people of all ages to craft sacred material resources for deepening personal paths of meaning within Jewish tradition.

Religiously-affiliated

  1. The Tribe (Berkeley) - Congregation Beth El’s 20s and 30s groups host events in the East Bay, ranging from happy hours to group outings to Oakland A’s games.
  2. Young Adult Community at Congregation Emanu-El - Providing programs and events tailor-made for the young adult community (20s & 30s) and Gen E (mid 30s & 40s). Flagship programs include Summer Camp and Late-night Shabbat. Connect with them on Facebook.
  3. The SOMA Shul - A project of Chabad, the SOMA Shul is a place for people to get together and celebrate their Judaism. They host Friday night services, happy hour, Shabbat dinners, and weekly Torah study groups. Connect with them on Facebook.
  4. The Kitchen - A religious community deeply grounded in serious exploration of Jewish text, tradition, and ritual. Connect with them on Facebook.
  5. Mission Minyan - Mission Minyan is a group of Jews who get together on a regular basis for spirited traditional davening and related festivities. This community gathers for dynamic, aesthetically compelling, liturgically complete davening, as well as study and social events. Connect with them on Facebook.

Professional Networking

  1. Young Jewish Professionals of Oakland (Oakland) - A vibrant group of Jewish young professionals, YJP offers events for those in their 20s and 30s to meet, network, and socialize in a welcoming and relaxed setting with a spirited vibe. Connect with them on Facebook.
  2. Jewish High Tech Community 2.0 (JHTC 2.0) (Silicon Valley) - JHTC aims to improve the quality of life in Silicon Valley for Jewish people working in and around technology. Connect with them on Facebook.
  3. Business Leadership Council - The Federation’s Business Leadership Council (BLC) provides opportunities to expand your network and learn from experts while supporting the Jewish community. BLC offers speaker panels on topics ranging from Investing in Israeli Businesses to Commercial Real Estate Market Update, volunteer opportunities, Business Referral Communities, as well as its annual fundraising breakfast with its established reputation for dynamic speakers and stellar networking.

Globally-focused

  1. JDC Entwine - A one-of-a-kind movement for young Jewish leaders, influencers, and advocates who seek to make a meaningful impact on global Jewish needs and international humanitarian issues. Entwine offers service experiences in Jewish communities around the world, educational events and programs, and leadership development opportunities. Connect with them on Facebook.
  2. World Zionist Organization - Department of Diaspora Activities - Working primarily to introduce Jews to different aspects of Israeli culture, politics and society through quality educational content and programming. Connect with them on Facebook.
  3. Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) - JIMENA is dedicated to educating and advocating on behalf of the 850,000 Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to student internships and Israel advocacy trainings, JIMENA has a Young Professionals Group aimed at those aged 21-45 who support their mission. Connect with them on Facebook.
  4. New Israel Fund - NIF helps Israel ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants. New Generations, NIF’s young adult branch, is an open and vibrant community of young professionals, social activists, community leaders and students in their 20s and 30s who want to learn about and engage with the most important issues facing Israel today. Connect with them on Facebook.
  5. Israel Cultural Connection (ICC@JCC) - ICC is a hub for the Israeli community where one can connect to their Israeli identity, celebrate Israeli culture and explore what it means to be an Israeli Jew living outside of Israel.

Community Building

  1. Jewish Community Center - The JCC is a general recreational, social, and fraternal organization serving Jewish communities worldwide. The Bay Area has JCCs in San Francisco, the East Bay, Santa Rosa, Palo Alto, Foster City, and Los Gatos.
  2. ENGAJ (Palo Alto) - A collaboration of the Oshman Family JCC and Hillel@Stanford, ENGAJ inspires Peninsula Jewish young professionals and graduate students to connect meaningfully. Connect with them on Facebook.
  3. Moishe House - Fueled by the demand for peer-led, home-based programming from Jewish young adults and their Jewish communities, Moishe House has become a global leader of Jewish life for young adults. The Bay Area proudly has eight  Moishe Houses – Dolores, Nob Hill, NOPA, RSJ, Silicon Valley, Lake Merritt, Temescal, and Berkeley, almost all of which host seven programs per month that range from Jewish holiday celebrations to discussions on racial justice.
  4. Jewbilee SF - Founded by three San Franciscans, Jewbilee SF is a monthly party for Jews in their 20s and 30s. Connect with them on Facebook.
  5. InterfaithFamily - InterfaithFamily is the premier resource supporting interfaith couples exploring Jewish life and inclusive Jewish communities. They offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and training for organizations, clergy, and other program providers; and their new InterfaithFamily/Your Community initiative, providing coordinated, comprehensive offerings in local communities. Connect with them on Facebook.

Cause-based

  1. Urban Adamah (Berkeley) - Urban Adamah is an educational farm and community center that integrates the practices of Jewish tradition, sustainable agriculture, mindfulness, and social action to build loving, just, and sustainable communities. They provide educational programs and community celebrations for more than 5,000 visitors a year, as well as a residential fellowship program for young adults. Connect with them on Facebook.
  2. Wilderness Torah (Berkeley) - Wilderness Torah’s mission is to awaken and celebrate the earth-based traditions of Judaism in order to nourish the connections between self, community, earth, and Spirit. They provide multi-generational holiday retreats, Jewish youth education, community programs, and young adult leadership training. Connect with them on Facebook.
  3. OneTable - OneTable helps people in their 20s and 30s find, enjoy, and share Shabbat dinners. OneTable provides one-on-one support to help the host find Jewish rituals that work best for them, as well as a nourishment credit of $15 per person. Connect with them on Facebook.
  4. Reboot - Reboot affirms the value of Jewish traditions and creates new ways for people to make them their own. They provide creative projects that spark the interest of young Jews and the larger community, such as The Friday App, 10Q, and Beyond Bubbie. Connect with them on Facebook.
  5. Bend the Arc - Bend the Arc is building the power and passion of the progressive Jewish movement in America by bringing together Jews from across the country to advocate and organize for a more just and equal society. Connect with them on Facebook.

Volunteer Opportunities

  1. Young Professional Community Connection at JFCS - Designed to create monthly volunteer opportunities for professionals in their 20s and 30s who are looking for ongoing and meaningful experiences. The project has a unique structure, which incorporates training from field experts at JFCS, and followed by direct service projects after each training; all guided by Jewish values. The project also includes a social component, where volunteers are able to meet other young professionals interested in giving back to the community.
  2. Jewish Coalition for Literacy (JCL) - JCL tutors provide one-on-one reading support for struggling readers from low-income homes. Daytime, afternoon, and early evening hours are available. Connect with them on Facebook.
  3. Day of Volunteering - YAD’s Day of Volunteering brings over 100 young adults together to volunteer at various sites throughout San Francisco. This event happens annually every July.

Upcoming Events

June 13, 2021
5:00 PM
Contact Us 

Contact us

Danit Trau
Senior Program Officer, Young Adult Engagement
415.369.2873

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