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. The Make It Happen Fund is available to help make your dream gathering or project a reality. Get up to $500 in reimbursable program expenses to build Jewish community and experiences your way. Applications are open and are reviewed on a rolling basis. Get more information and apply.  
     
  2. 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!
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. There are many ways to experience Israel with young adult peers. Our partners at Israel Outdoors currently run Birthright trips for local young adults every summer and winter. Looking for a longer experience? Masa Israel Journey offers a menu of different experiences in Israel, from gap years, to teaching English, to internships at top startups. And want to travel with your partner? Check out Honeymoon Israel. We also offer grant and scholarship opportunities for Israel travel – on the program of your choice – for young adults up to age 26. 
     
  5. To explore what it means for you to be a strategic and savvy philanthropist, reach out to Debbie Berkowitz, Senior Director, Family Philanthropy. Learn how to make the most impact with your giving and involvement, while gaining a broader understanding of the Federation's overall philanthropic footprint.
Leadership 

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. Whether you grew up steeped in a Jewish upbringing, 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.

The Young Adult Peer Connector Network is made up of incredible engagement professionals from seven different Jewish organizations. They’re here to serve young adult Jewish folks all across the Bay Area, and to help them find meaning and connection in Jewish life and community.

Peer Connectors:

  • build relationships with fellow Jewish 20- and 30-somethings.
  • take peers out to coffee to learn about their interests, passions, and challenges.
  • connect young adults to resources, people, and programming—within their respective organizations and in the wider community.

Piloted in 2019 and now in its fifth year, the Peer Connector Network is a collaboration between the Federation and Gather, Inc.

You can learn more about the Peer Connectors and reach out by visiting Gather's website.

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. JYA (Jewish Young Adults) (Silicon Valley) - Jewish Young Adults hosts community events that foster meaningful connections among adults in their 20s and 30s who identify as Jewish or Jewish-adjacent. JYA is a non-denominational, volunteer-run organization serving the Silicon Valley/South Bay region. 
  3. Business Leadership Community - The Federation’s Business Leadership Community (BLC) is modeled after leading professionals' networking groups, with members meeting monthly to connect and help each other with business challenges. All professionals are welcome to test out three meetings prior to officially joining. 

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.
  6. J Leaders - J Leaders inspires Jewish young adults to grow their leadership capacity, connect with like-minded peers, and make a positive difference in the world by providing impactful leadership skill development illuminated by Jewish wisdom. J Leaders programs include the 6-month J Leaders Academy, Mentorship, and the Jewish Leadership Forums featuring prominent Jewish business and community leaders. Connect with J Leaders 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

March 01, 2024
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
San Francisco
Contact Us 

Contact us

Amanda Cohen
Director, Young Adult Engagement
415.369.2873

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