I think one of the major factors contributing to the splintering of the Jewish community and the resultant self-isolation of the denominationally affiliated youth is the focus many Jewish organizations put on ‘continuity’ instead of on enrichment. By focusing on continuity, Jewish organizations invest the majority of their time and capital reaching out to the unaffiliated through attractively packaged programming, working on the assumption that those already committed in one way or another to Judaism have already been won over. In doing so, the Jewish world paradoxically provides incentives for non-affiliation with specific communities—hence the ever-growing amount of “hipster” projects funded by institutional organizations—leaving those affiliated youths without the resources they need to further develop their communities.
Beery also makes mention to his forthcoming magazine, Present Tense: Generation X Jewish Life, which aims to “explore issues gripping the Jewish community in news, feature, literary and critical pieces.” This man is on the move and not stopping anytime soon. Stay tuned in the next few months to see for yourself about the magazine.