Over 30 DJC members met for our second of nine community conversations to explore and share why it matters to us to be part of Jewish life and part of a Jewish community.
Through writing and discussion, we probed how and why we each connect with Judaism. We started with an exercise (you can do it at home if you weren’t there – it was quite revealing) of listing formative Jewish experiences, from childhood to the present, and what about each experience left an imprint on us. From there we unpeeled layers of our personal stories to try to articulate what we each value and find meaningful about being part of Jewish community, Judaism, the Jewish People, and the DJC in the present. When people voiced values like “a sense of belonging” or “connection to social justice”, we continued to delve deeper, asking what it is about feeling a sense of belonging in a Jewish context or engaging with Jewish perspectives on social justice that matters.
It was a fantastic second session in our Year of Wrestling Together, a thought-provoking and moving evening that demonstrated the depth and diversity of our community and our willingness to trust each other with our experiences and explorations.
During the Children’s Jewish Studies Program on November 12, a smaller group of 15 DJC members, several of whom have children in the JS program, met to explore the same topic. There were interesting overlaps and differences between the two conversations. In this session, there was more focus on questions about whether or not it matters that our children and grandchildren are engaged with Judaism, why it matters, and what our hopes are for the Jewish future.
Each participant contributed a message or idea they wanted to pass on to DJCers who were not able to make it to the conversations. We’ll have those to share with you soon – stay tuned!