An Epic Event
By Vivian Henoch, Editor myJewishDetroit
March 1, 2013
“A young and vibrant Jewish community.”
That was the resounding message that followed NEXTGen Detroit’s first EPIC Event last year. The 2013 EPIC Event, brought to the community by Sue and Alan J. Kaufman and Family, promises to be an even bigger hit.
EPIC isn’t just the name of the event, it is the entire experience. EPIC is NEXTGen’s major fundraising event of the year and this year it’s set to be a celebration of a young and growing Jewish Detroit, an engaged and passionate community, reflecting a new voice of Federation.
On March 9th, EPIC will feature B.J. Novak, widely known as the writer and executive producer of the hit TV show The Office. Novak will provide the big laughs. The audience will provide the lasting memories.
Click the screen below to see a video of last year’s event.
More than entertainment
The goal of EPIC is to do more than entertain. At its core, EPIC is a testament to the strength of Federation’s role in building and sustaining Jewish life across Metro Detroit. The 2012 EPIC Event launched NEXTGen Detroit, a dynamic new branch within the Jewish Federation. It’s been a remarkable first year for NEXTGen Detroit, reaching out and engaging young adults, 21 to 45, by providing meaningful opportunities and a range of in-depth programming.
From CommunityNEXT targeting young adults 21-30, to the NEXTGen Hub, which hosts a range of professional opportunities and social events for singles, young couples and families, NEXTGen Detroit is working to make Detroit a vibrant home for young Jews of every age. For the NEXTGen leadership, EPIC is about being a part of the larger Federation mission. Jordan Glass, EPIC Co-Chair along with Leah Bold, believes that EPIC makes giving to Federation feel both good and important, “We’re taking care of our community and providing services to those in need, both at home in Detroit and in Israel.”
Expressing his enthusiasm and pride in supporting NEXTGen, Alan Kaufman stated, “The health of a community can be measured in many ways. The best barometer is to look at the next generation. Federation has a strong leadership through NEXTGen. We view this as an incredibly positive sign that Detroit’s young Jewish community is flourishing in many ways. Last year we saw that one-third of the donors at EPIC were new, with an average gift of $131. For previous donors, there was an increase of 61% over 2011.”
An inspired experience
EPIC is an “inspired experience,” says Glass. Throughout his NEXTGen involvement, Glass says there’s nothing like EPIC. “It’s an infectious atmosphere. Any time you can fill a room with this many individuals, so passionate and committed to the Jewish community, you know it will be a motivating experience for young people.”
EPIC played a significant role in the success NEXTGen found in their 2012 campaign – with an increase of 20% in dollars raised over 2011. NEXTGen’s donor base has doubled since 2010, and quadrupled since 2005. EPIC Co-Chair, Leah Bold says, “Our leadership and staff have been working so hard and it shows.” Bold continued, “I can’t wait to sell out EPIC and see our campaign grow!”
Associate Director of NEXTGen Detroit, Jessica Goodwin, says that EPIC is a “game changer,” observing, “The power in the room of 700+ young adults, collectively stepping forward and making an impact to strengthen our community is incredibly inspiring, and as a professional, makes me very proud that that as a Federation we can create this opportunity.”
NEXTGen has a lot to celebrate. Come join your community at EPIC on March 9th at the MGM Grand in Detroit. Advanced registration is required and tickets are $65. Attire is Saturday night chic.