As we continue to cherish and celebrate the rich traditions and values of our Jewish heritage, I am delighted to share how Genesis Edmonton has grown since I started working on it in October 2023. Genesis has worked to build experiences and connections for young adults (ages 25-40) in Edmonton. When I started, we had an email list of 25 people, and most key community members estimated we had maybe 50 young adults in Edmonton. The Federation has organized an event nearly every month since November of last year, and we have found new young adults at every turn. Our list has grown to nearly 100 people, who are ages 25-40, living in Edmonton, and who want to be more involved in Jewish life and programming. Our committee has expanded from one volunteer to two co-chairs and two members.
Over the past few months, the dedicated efforts of Genesis have created a dynamic and engaging community for young adults. It thrilled us to share the fruits of our labour with you. This initiative is of utmost importance for the growth and vitality of our Jewish community. Involving young adults is not just a goal but a necessity, as they represent the future torchbearers of our heritage and traditions.
The energy, enthusiasm, and fresh perspectives of young adults are invaluable assets that can breathe new life into our community. Their participation will develop programs and activities suited to their interests.
Our summer events were highly successful, with an unprecedented number of young adults in attendance, showcasing the potential of our community. Most of the individuals attending were new people that we had never met or heard of before. The gatherings were filled with joy, laughter, and a genuine sense of belonging, bringing participants from various backgrounds closer to their shared roots. Young adults met each other and formed new friendships and opportunities for joint experiences. As a result, this encouraged young adults to offer new ideas for programs and to join our efforts in building community for other young adults.
Moving forward, we have many events planned. These include chances to volunteer and give back, social events to encourage meaningful connections with like-minded peers, and networking opportunities to build personal and professional relationships.
Young adults can volunteer on Monday, July 24 by making Jewish bracelets. We will sell these bracelets at the Israel Pavilion to support our community’s involvement in the Heritage Festival. To register, please contact me. If you are interested in joining the wider Jewish community and volunteer at the Heritage Festival on August 7 and 8, please sign up now. A barbecue for young adults at Laurier Park is being organized for August 30 at 6:30 p.m. More details are coming soon. In addition, we are encouraging young adults to develop their own programming ideas. We have $1,800 grants available through our microgrant program.
If you are interested in being part of the creation of our programs and plans for young adults in the fall and winter, please contact me. Your presence, ideas, and enthusiasm will be the driving force behind the success of these events. Together, we can foster a strong and vibrant Genesis Edmonton that reflects the best of our Jewish heritage and values.
Let’s continue to build a community that thrives on unity, love, and tradition.