From a young Jewish perspective, the reverberations of the October 7 tragedy have unleashed a torrent of anxiety and a flood of questions. The magnitude of this tragedy, the largest mass killing of Jews since the Holocaust, has not only rattled me but has left Jews all over the world to grapple with the aftermath. This underscores the critical importance of unity during this challenging period. In my role as a National Council Director with J Leaders, an organization dedicated to empowering Jewish young adults through leadership development and community-building, I’ve been a witness to the proactive efforts of J Leaders alumni in orchestrating a poignant and timely conference, responding to a pressing need among young Jews — myself included.
Jewish young adults find themselves in a struggle, seeking community support and expert discussions in the aftermath of the October 7 tragedy. Moreover, there exists a general lack of connection to organized religious constructs such as synagogues. October 7th has profoundly impacted many young Jews, exposing them to overt antisemitism for the first time and sparking an eagerness to take meaningful action.
Our challenge is immense — navigating a complex tapestry of emotions, from grief and fear to the imperative to express Jewish pride, to combat antisemitism, and staunchly support the Jewish Homeland. Now, more than ever, it is paramount to equip our community with the tools necessary to address these multifaceted needs simultaneously.
For those in the Bay Area, I highly recommend exploring the conference hosted by J Leaders, titled “Cultivating Hope in a Post-October 7 World.” Set for Sunday, February 25th, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos, California, this event directly addresses the urgent needs of Jewish young adults amidst the tragedy of October 7.
Online registration is open until February 23 at $18, with onsite registration available for $36. Additionally, shuttle tickets for convenient transportation within San Francisco are available for $10 one way or $20 round trip. Secure your spot by clicking here.
The conference promises a dynamic lineup of speakers, including Amy Albertson, a California-based Jewish advocate and educator; District Attorney Jeff Rosen, a national leader in criminal justice reform; Hilary Hawn, an educator and devoted antisemitism combatant; and Oleg Ivanov, PhD, Assistant Director of AJC San Francisco, who will serve as the event moderator.
This conference is a pivotal platform for meaningful discussions, unwavering support, and empowerment for Jewish young adults in the Bay Area. It is a unique opportunity to come together, share experiences, and draw strength from our community during these challenging times. Join us in cultivating hope and solidarity in the face of adversity.