Here are a few of the programs/events we ran this year:

Outdoors: We ran an environmentalism-themed event where we did a guided hike with naturalist, pulled weeds in the woods, and then had a sustainability-themed picnic spread with group discussions about Torah ideas on environmentalism.

1. Our virtual Chopped competition was phenomenal, four YJPs competed in their own kitchens while the rest watched, commented, and voted on best dish! (I dropped off a cooler with four “mystery ingredients” at each one’s house, they were not allowed to open it until the event started. We also invited a local secular Jewish chef/restauranteur as a guest to chat and comment on the dishes!)

2. We ran regular virtual “happy hour” discussions on topics at the intersection between current events and Jewish philosophy (mask-debate ethics, racism and civil rights, political polarization and Jews, RBG and the judicial system in secular and Jewish philosophy, Chanukah and the assimilation debate). This program was actually planned pre-COVID and was intended to be an in-person series, but then we couldn’t meet in person, so we pivoted to virtual very early on, and BH it turned out well!

3. For one of our virtual happy hours, I prepared beautiful to-go cocktail kits with ingredients for making a signature Chanukah cocktail. Participants were able to pick them up during the day, and we mixed the drinks “together” during the virtual event and enjoyed during the discussion!

Kayla Soroka