Developing Minds in Boston: The Reviews Are In & Cohort 2 Underway

Through Developing Minds, Boston-area Jewish professionals improve their organization's ability to engage with the challenges and opportunities posed by the growing mental health needs among teens and young adults. 

In November 2023, professionals from nine Boston-area youth-serving Jewish organizations gathered to kick off the inaugural cohort of Developing Minds, a 5-month program to expand organizations’ mental health capacity so all youth can engage in Jewish life.

After many sessions engaging with peers, learning from one another, and tapping into the collective wisdom of organizations facing similar challenges, Cohort 1 participants held a Closing Summit on February 13th.

The Summit, initially planned to be held in-person, was switched to an online event due to a snowstorm expected to begin that same evening. The severe conditions predicted never materialized, but the virtual gathering was a success despite the missed opportunity to wrap up the experience in-person.

Most importantly, reviews from participants reflected both a strong thirst for mental health education and training and praise for the program, its facilitators, and its overall relevance to youth-serving Jewish organizations.

With little evidence of accumulated snow anywhere in eastern Massachusetts, Cohort 2 launched just two days later, on February 15th, with a new group of Jewish professionals equally invested in improving their organization’s ability to engage with the challenges and opportunities posed by the growing mental health needs among teens and young adults.

Topics covered throughout the program include:

  • Mental Health First Aid training
  • Mental, Emotional, and Social Health Through Experiential Education
  • Well-being for Professionals
  • Organizational assessments of mental health practices, policies, and procedures
  • Private coaching sessions

Developing Minds is a partnership between Gateways and BaMidbar and is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), is free to participants, which include both youth-serving Jewish professionals and executive-level leaders of Jewish organizations.

With one-in-three young adults, and one-in-two adolescents struggling with a mental health disorder, Developing Minds is based on the following premise: The Jewish community and Jewish professionals are uniquely situated to create positive environments where not only Jewish engagement, but also mental health inclusion, can develop.