Sessions at the annual Reshet conference, which was virtual this year, focused on the need ensure young people engage with the community.

More than one hundred people took part from across the world for Reshet’s annual conference, the network of Jewish youth provision.

Sessions focused on the need to innovate to ensure young people are able to engage with Jewish community and identity in a meaningful way in the years following the pandemic.

The conference heard from Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, Marie van der Zyl of the Board of Deputies and the headteachers of JFS and JCoSS schools.

“The Reshet network of informal educators is strengthened year on year at our Conference,” said Shelley Marsh, Reshet Executive Director. “The high calibre conversations enhance the development of the professionals involved, enabling them to bring the best of themselves to the Jewish young people they serve.”

Summing up the challenge in a panel discussion on ‘new horizons’ for leadership in the community, JLC’s Jonathan Goldstein said: “The focus must be innovation, how we can grow and learn from each other to ensure that young people remain connected to their faith and their community.”

Meanwhile, the Board’s Marie van der Zyl added: “Young people really want to have a say and want to be listened to, and what they have got to say really does matter. We have got to find a way to make sure they are included.”

School heads also told the conference that children need informal spaces where they can play and interact with their peers much more than catch-up classes or longer school days.