Jewish organizations are ill-positioned to tap the skills and experience of the many Jewish Baby Boomers who see retirement as a time for "encore careers."

This was the major finding of a discussion with senior leaders in the Jewish community based on a new report from NYU Wagner Professor David Elcott, "Baby Boomers, Public Service, and Minority Communities: A Case Study of the Jewish Community in the United States." (For a summary of other key findings, click here. For a podcast of the event itself, click here.)

The discussion was moderated by the Jewish Week's Gary Rosenblatt and featured Stuart Himmelfarb and Roberta Leiner. It was hosted by BJPA @ NYU Wagner and the Research Center for Leadership in Action at NYU Wagner on 9/21.

To promote an exchange of ideas, the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner is initiating a conversation on this blog on the topic of engaging retiring Baby Boomers in public service Encore careers. This conversation will take the form of guest blog posts, which we hope will come from a variety of institutional, generational and professional perspectives -- perhaps including your own.

Among the questions we’d like to address are:

  • How do the report findings comport with your own impressions?
  • Which current programs or practices address the issue of effectively capitalizing on Baby Boomers’ talents and expertise while meeting their needs, and what can we learn from them?
  • What steps should policymakers and practitioners be taking and in what order of priority?

For an example of an institutional view of ongoing efforts, see this article by Roberta Leiner, discussing the UJA-Federation of New York's ongoing approach to this issue.

We look forward to hearing about initiatives in your organization or community, your concerns or current challenges, or your thoughts on new ways forward. If you would like to contribute a posting to this discussion, whether as brief as a paragraph, or as long as a few pages, please email In any event, check our blog frequently to read what others are contributing.