Young Jewish Professionals of Madison
By Rabbi Avremel Matusof

December 2011

YJP Madison, a program affiliated with Chabad,  launched with tremendous success. Their social and educational programs are finding a fun way to make the young Jewish professional sector comfortable in a kosher, Jewish environment.

Now gaining the attention of many Jewish organizations for their attractive, vibrant profile, young Jewish professionals in their 20s and 30s, out of university but not quite settled, have long had to find their footing in communities oriented towards families, university students, or not at all.

Rabbi Avremel Matusof director of YJP Madison with his wife Mushkie says “developing a network within this demographic in Madison is enormously promising. This is a community that is vital now and to the future of Judaism. As educated professionals, they will have great influence within their respective communities. Investing in their Jewish education so that they take ownership of their Jewish identity will make an important difference to the future of our people.”

“So many young Jews benefited from a Chabad-on-Campus experience and wanted to follow  up after they graduated. We are here to serve this population that did not have opportunities for engagement with like-minded peers. So far the response has been really exciting,” says Mushkie.

Supported by the Irwin A. And Robert D. Goodman Foundation, YJP Madison began its programming in July, including Shabbat under the stars, BBQ’s, Weekly Kabbalah classes, Bar- nights and Holiday meals. “It is the warmth, social scene and of course the great food that makes YJP such a crucial program.  I wish they would’ve started three years ago’ says Dan a graduate student at UW.

YJP Madison welcomes all young Jewish Professionals to join their facebook group or check out their website, and come join them at any of their frequent programs. Their current programs include, weekly trivia at a local bar where the team QUIZRALITES try to put their knowledge of random facts to good use, Shabbat dinners, weekly Kabbalah class, a sports league and a few upcoming awesome Chanukah events. 

They are not limited to singles though, as YJP Madison is initiating programs and events for young married couples, even with young children. A Mommy and Me program, smaller more private Shabbat meals, guys night out and cooking classes amongst other ideas.  

Asked about the possibilities for greater Jewish engagement with this demographic, Rabbi Avremel says, “Once the connection is established, the sky’s the limit.”