J-JUNCTION is launching two new brands to ensure its relevance to young Jewish Australians into the future.
In addition to the successful JConnect brand – which over 16 years has provided matchmaking services that have resulted in 65 weddings and 88 babies to date – the new divisions will specifically target the 19-25 and 25-35 demographics.
All three brands are being led by committees made up entirely of young adults, and are looking beyond the matchmaking paradigm to plan events and experiences aimed at bringing young Jewish people together for fun, networking and sharing interests.
“The younger groups, they do not want to be thinking about matchmaking, they want to be thinking about engaging,” J-Junction chairman Alex Abulafia said.
A longtime communal stalwart, Abulafia was concerned at the lack of young adult engagement and the growing threat to continuity from intermarriage.
His group of passionate communal members merged with the existing J-Junction, a new board was sworn in last year and funding for the organisation has been secured from generous donors.
Of the young individuals directing the brands, Abulafia said, “They come from highly professional backgrounds. They’re the creme de la creme.”
Lawyer Alex Ortner, who is leading the existing JConnect brand, said despite its success there is still a lack of awareness around it and a misperception that it exists “kind of within a bubble”.
“Part of this refresh is revitalising JConnect as the leading organisation for young Jewish singles to connect, meet and match,” she said.
“We will be doing what we’ve been doing for years, but we will be doing it in a way that is attractive for young people and is actually catering to their specific needs.”
This will involve a calendar of diverse events, some with a matchmaking element and some just social or cultural, to ensure people are comfortable attending “without it being perceived in a certain way or without it having a stigma attached”.
Leeor Chabat, who founded J-Seek, will drive the brand aimed at 19-25-year-olds.
“We’re working hard to launch as soon as possible, and are excited to work together with other Jewish organisations. Using this collaborative approach, we aim to increase the overall value of the community to those participating in it,” he said.