The research on the power of social networks is unequivocal: if we want young adults to engage in Jewish life, they will need Jewish friends to support this engagement.

“You could dim the lighting,” I muse, “bring in a few lanterns, and drape strings of white lights.” I suggest setting up twenty-five chairs in a tight circle – a shape intimate enough to open up its occupants to lively discussion. “As people enter, you can welcome them inside this way.” I gesture to the left side of the door. “Then, invite them to make nametags, have two older students pass around tapas and make introductions, and have some upbeat music playing on speakers.” I sing a few notes, listen to them bounce around the space, then add, “the acoustics are beautiful. You could definitely host Shabbat in here.”

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