As the November cover story noted, Temple Emanu-El — like many other religious institutions — has experienced a decline in its young adult population in recent years, and temple leaders have spent quite a bit of time and effort focusing on how to retain this generation. They think they've found one of the secrets:
"The big joke is, you know, beer," says Mimi Zimmerman, the temple's young adults coordinator. Whether it's a Tu B'Shevat Seder and wine tasting or just a casual night of burgers and beer, young people are showing up. But they stick around for other reasons.
One is Temple Emanu-El's new dues structure for young adults. (The marketing tagline, "All kinds of Jews. All kinds of dues," is pictured.) All temple members pay a set amount of annual dues as part of their membership, but "if you are a young adult, someone between 21 and 39, you can join temple for your first year at a voluntary amount of your choosing," Zimmerman says. After that, "there is a dues structure just for this age range, so that those dues were dropped drastically from what just the average member of temple gives."