The Reform movement has created a new rabbinical post to spearhead its work with young adults — the so-called “missing generation”.
Rabbi Benji Stanley, 31, who has been at West London Synagogue since his ordination at Leo Baeck College last summer, will take on the role from September.
Reform chairman Robert Weiner said Rabbi Stanley’s immediate goal would be “to figure out what this age group wants from the communities and the movement.
“We want to find new ways of engaging with what they want to do — as opposed to what we want them to do.”
He added that greater efforts were needed to engage with the young. “We are very proud of what we do for this age group but we are conscious we should be doing more. I’m optimistic that Benji can deliver that.”
Rabbi Stanley is married to fellow rabbi Leah Jordan, who graduated from Leo Baeck in the same year and who now works with students and young adults for Liberal Judaism.
The new post reflects growing investment by synagogue organisations across the board in efforts to attract the post-student age group, sometimes dubbed “the missing generation”.
The United Synagogue’s Tribe division covers young adults, as well as youth, and a number of US synagogues have recruited young rabbis to run activities.