Since 2001, In-Reach has been a leader in innovative Jewish outreach programs. Our founder, Rabbi Shu Eliovson, is dedicated to helping young Jews find spiritual connection on their own terms. In the past, In-Reach succeeded in engaging Jewish ‘counter-culture’ teens via a revolutionary online outreach community called “TheLockers.net”. Recognizing the need to bring Jewish connection into entirely new communities of young Jews, In-Reach has grown to become "The Greenhouse of Grassroots Judaism”, with a focus on cultivating grassroots Jewish renewal projects that bring spirituality into everyday life.
Acting as the Greenhouse of Grassroots Judaism, it is the mission of In-Reach to cultivate grassroots Jewish renewal projects that bring spirituality into everyday life.
In recent years we have seen a decline in synagogue attendance among young adults. But this is not because they are not spiritual people; they are just seeking elsewhere for spiritual fulfillment. For many, spirituality is a social experience. With its programs, In-Reach strives to demonstrate that Jewish and spiritual connection can be found in their everyday lives and in their own communities.
Many of the existing Jewish outreach organizations have the agenda of making people more religious, leaving a need for no pressure Jewish programs where participants are invited to explore Judaism and their spirituality without judgment or expectation of change.
Our approach is simple. We grow and facilitate jewish renewal in already existing communities, and we do it an an open and non judgemental way, allowing them to find their own path to jewish connection. In-Reach’s unique approach to Jewish outreach demonstrates to young people that spiritual experiences can happen anywhere, anytime. Rather than challenging young people to change their lives in order to become more spiritual, we enable them to change the way they view their lives, discovering the inherent spirituality that is already there, and always has been. In-Reach’s programs are designed to bring the warmth of Jewish tradition into various aspects of everyday life, including music festivals.
The impact of Jewish social programming can be hard to quantify. In-Reach has seen and hopes to continue and grow the following impact:
Brings a sense of belonging to a Jewish community, even for those who are unaffiliated or not practicing
Facilitates a lasting spiritual consciousness
Gives a connection to Jewish traditions in their own lifestyle
Creates a global network of young like-minded Jews
In a related study by The Foundation for Jewish Camp on Jewish summer camp programs, participants in social Jewish programs as youth, as adults were 55% more likely to feel “very emotionally attached to Israel”, 27% more likely to light Shabbat candles on a regular basis, and were 30% more likely to “participate in Jewish charitable giving.”
While more set in their ways than youth, young adults are still finding who they are and their place in the world, independent of their families. Using the warm of Jewish traditions, In-Reach creates programs that allow for long-lasting, independent spiritual connection.
Meet The Team
Rabbi Joshua Eliovson
Rabbi Yehoshua “Shu” Eliovson has been pioneering new avenues in the field of informal outreach for more than a decade. With a focus on engaging young Jews searching for new and relevant expressions of Judaism, Rabbi Eliovson has consistently pioneered fresh approaches to young adult engagement.
In 2001 Rabbi Shu founded In-Reach, a first-of-its-kind, grassroots incubator of Jewish young-adult engagement. Rather than promoting a specific concept of Judaism to teens and young adults, In-Reach creates programs that operate within the heart of their culture and community. The In-Reach approach simply asks: “Where are you, what are your most pressing questions about Judaism and life, and how can we help?” The In-Reach model forges Jewish connection through genuine friendship, and rather than promoting preconceived concepts of the place any one person ought to be, meets each individual based upon the place they are coming from.