The private concert and social was a showcase event to introduce the synagogue's new initiative to draw young adults between the ages of 21 and 35 to the temple.

"Our new initiative began three months ago by our executive committee, Richard Hirsch, Ed Steinberg and Susan Diamond," Rabbi Barak Bar-Chaim, The New Synagogue's spiritual leader said.

"The kickoff event was a Friday night social with 25-30 young adults. Most of the attendees were from West Palm Beach and its surrounds, but some came from Miami and Boca," he noted.

"We mainly cater for Baby Boomers and senior citizens and this group remains our main focus. However, in Palm Beach County there are many young adults who are thirsting for an experience that is both social and that has an element of Jewish identity," Bar-Chaim said. "We are providing the framework for that experience."Bar-Chaim said that one of the ways the temple is reaching out to young adults in the surrounding communities is through its Facebook page: "Your Jewish Experience."

"We're able to find exactly the target group we're looking for," he said. "In fact, we know precisely how many young Jewish adults there are within an easy drive of our shul. They see our events and postings and engage with our young adult community manager Jenna Katz on a daily basis. The online community is growing quickly and they are showing us they 'LIKE' the interesting, and often funny, Jewish things we share with them."

Bar-Chaim said they chose the Todd Kessler concert to kick off the new program because, "he is an excellent musician with a great reputation in Chicago and beyond. He is extremely popular with young adults and a proud Jew who has performed in many synagogues."

In addition to his "Voice" TV appearance, Kessler fronts the Chicago based band Todd Kessler and The New Folk ( whose latest album is "Sea Fever."

In a telephone interview with the Jewish Journal, Kessler, age 30, talked about his singing career and musical influences.

"I've been singing since I was 8 or 9 years old," he said. "I sang in the choir and in school plays. I began singing professionally in 2005. Some of my musical influences were David Grey, Ryan Adams, Glen Hansard, the Beatles and Paul Simon."

Kessler said his Jewish background had an influence on his music.

"I did have a Jewish upbringing," he said. "We weren't the most observant on the block, but we weren't the least observant. I attended a Conservative synagogue and school, and Judaism really affected my music. I love Jewish music. It influences how I sing."

His appearance at New Synagogue, where "I'll be doing a havdalah," is not Kessler's first concert at a synagogue, he said, "but it's my first in Palm Beach."

Susan Diamond, New Synagogue executive committee who was directly responsible for bringing Kessler to Palm Beach for the concert, said she's excited about the temple's new initiative.

"I'm excited about the outreach initiative to young Jewish adults because we have so much to offer. There's the social side of the Jewish Palm Beach experience — meeting new friends and having a fun. We throw great parties," she said.

"Then there's the spiritual side, where Jews from all backgrounds and levels of observance come together at New Synagogue of Palm Beach for a short prayer service that's meaningful and not overwhelming," Diamond noted.

"And finally, we offer learning. Sure, we offer Jewish learning. We have unbelievable speakers and classes. But the best way to learn about life is from the people who live it well," she said. "Many of our members are prominent leaders in the business community. They are Jewish leaders who love to support and mentor young people. Our young professionals are building valuable relationships and making important connections."