Last night, the Jewish Young Adult Writer’s Forum kicked-off in the greater Boston area with an open house designed to introduce the concept to creative types in the 20s/30s crowd. The idea is fairly simple: a dozen or so folks (chosen through a simple application process) will meet monthly over four or five months to workshop some writing and learn from visiting professionals. The goal is to be flexible enough that theme of each meeting (and the pro who comes to lead it) can be tailored to the specific group that forms the first cohort. If it’s successful, organizer Chloe Safier hopes to engage future cohorts as well. Oh, and did I mention that participation is free? And includes dinner?

This is possible because the program is helped along by the support of ROI, PresenTense Group, and Gesher City Boston. But what I found most notable is that I found myself at a gathering of Jewish people in my age cohort, in a section of the city I lived in for seven years (before hopping to the other side of the river about a year ago), and the only person I had ever met before was the organizer. (This doesn’t happen often to me. I grew up in the Greater Boston Jewish community, I have worked in the community for years, I volunteer in the community, etc…) In the inevitable name-game section of the evening, a few people introduced themselves with particular Jewish affiliations (mostly professional), but most didn’t. And while I don’t want to make assumptions that anyone else in the room belonged to that elusive “unengaged” Jewish population that everyone’s so anxious to snag, this group certainly at least has the potential to serve folks both within and outside of the Jewish institutional mainstream.

JYAWF is accepting applications for the workshop until November 25th.