Religion & Beliefs

Girl Scouts Face Exactly the Same Problems as Jewish Organizations

“Defy conformity” declares a new ad for the Girl Scouts—an odd slogan for a group that requires its members to wear matching outfits. The Scouts, according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal, are floundering. Young girls no longer … Read More

By / March 26, 2008

“Defy conformity” declares a new ad for the Girl Scouts—an odd slogan for a group that requires its members to wear matching outfits. The Scouts, according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal, are floundering. Young girls no longer want to earn badges or sell cookies, and the organization has lost 1-2% of its numbers every year for a decade now.

Sound familiar? In fact, you could swap “the organized Jewish community” for “the Girl Scouts” in pretty much every paragraph of the piece and come up with a pretty accurate trend piece on Judaism today. Something like this:

Laurel Richie will be in charge of modernizing the image of the Girl Scouts, which is viewed by many as a rigid, old-fashioned organization focused on cookie fund-raisers and campouts. "Girls think of us as outdated," says Kathy Cloninger, chief executive of Girl Scouts of the USA. "They have stereotypes of who we are that are not right."

could so easily be this:

Laurel Richie will be in charge of modernizing the image of [Judaism], which is viewed by many as a rigid, old-fashioned organization focused on [Israel] and [intermarriage]. "[Kids] think of us as outdated," says Kathy Cloninger, chief executive of [Hillel]. "They have stereotypes of who we are that are not right."

OK, now it’s your turn! See what you can do with the passage below. Hey, if your tagline is good enough, you could probably parlay it into some kind of major job with the JCC:

Advertising efforts over the past two years also reflect the group's new direction, including public-service announcements in publications such as Entertainment Weekly and Girls Life that highlight girls' independence, and the tagline: "It's a Girl's Life. Lead it."

Repositioning the organization "isn't about us trying to be cool," says Ms. Richie. "We've seen jeans, sneakers and soft drinks try to do that and you just cringe."

Related: Hipster Judaism Mad-Libs