There is a lot of conversation about the notion of “free” in the Jewish community, particularly around college and young adult programming. As a community, we are struggling with the transition from a Jewish world that not only is free, but also provides huge opportunities at little or no cost if you just show up, to the stage that comes next. This “free” programming comes in stark contrast to the reality that living an active Jewish life is actually quite expensive. I am now in my 30s and see the cost side as more of a byproduct than the actual root of the issue. We have plenty of evidence that young people will pay for things, but it is based on perceived value rather than obligation.
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