Probably the most popular pastime of Jewish Young Adults is organizing ourselves. We make official and unofficial groups for practically every possible activity. We have gatherings for everything from speed dating to prayer circles to book clubs to bowling leagues. It seems like every single city in the US has an organization for Jewish Young Adults devoted to itself. And there are even meta-organizations to organize the organizations.
Looking to join a Jewish organization in Chicago? Try the Young Leadership Division of the JUF. Want a non-denominational Orthodox-style service for Friday nights in San Francisco? The Mission Minyan in filled with Jewish Yuppies on a regular basis. Looking for a movie night with a bunch of Russian Jews in Boston? Shoot an email to the Makor Center and get on their mailing list. Find yourself in Kentucky and want to go to the races with some Members of the Tribe? The Young Adult Division of the Louisville Federation makes an annual trip.
The phenomenon of Jewish Young Adults organizing themselves in not just limited to the States either. The need to join group activities with other similar members exists all over the planet. Sydney, Toronto, Paris, or practically anywhere, a quick Google search can easily point the way to the nearest Purim party or pub crawl.
So why do we do this? Why do we compartmentalize our social activities into structural form? Why do we institutionalize our communal interactions and limit them to others of our kind, when most of us probably have a majority of Jewish friends anyhow? I don’t really know the answers to these questions, but I’m thinking of starting a Salon of Jewish Young Adults in my neighborhood so we can have bi-monthly discussions on the subject.