The core question that drives the Community Scorecard is: How do we continue to build a more vibrant, thriving, and engaged Jewish community?”
Scorecard metrics reflect specific dimensions of community life that show the extent to which those aspects are thriving and where improvement is needed.
The Community Building Challenge
In the 21st century, Jewish community does not just happen, it must be created. Why?
- People are much less likely to live where they were born or grew up
- Jews are much more likely to be intermarried than they were in the past
- The outside world is, at least in the United States, less hostile
- The majority of younger Jews’ friends are unlikely to be Jewish.
To an extraordinary degree, self-identity in the United States is no longer inherited. It is invented or reinvented.
The new Jewish community is open, voluntary, and pluralistic. People no longer automatically see themselves as part of a Jewish community and they do not affiliate with the Jewish community out of a sense of obligation. They choose to identify and belong if they believe that being part of a Jewish community can enrich and ennoble them and their families.
A Jewish community must be a compelling, exciting, and engaging place with a shared culture, a multiplicity of ways to be Jewish, and an efficient and effective community infrastructure.
Four themes define a vibrant, thriving, and engaged Jewish community:
- JEWISH ENGAGEMENT – Active engagement of children and adults in being Jewish, in Judaism, and in a Jewish community in ways that are meaningful to them and that embrace and promote the bonds that connect all Jews to each other
- CARING COMMUNITY – Expression of traditional Jewish values of caring for each other (areivut) and acts of loving-kindness (gemilut chasadim), excellent human services, and volunteering
- CONNECTION TO GENERAL COMMUNITY – Ways to help Jews connect with the general community of Pittsburgh in a meaningful way
- CAPACITY – Building the capacity of the organized Jewish community to provide effective and efficient communal services