Hakhel Newsletter July 2021

What’s Inside: Sharing Resources | Upcoming Events and Opportunities | In the Spotlight


Have you felt like you needed to take some time off?

Have you ever wondered where Academia got the idea of a Sabbatical Year from?

In 6 weeks we will be welcoming the 279th Shmita year, since the destruction of the second temple (in 70 CE), which is all about that.

Shmita is one of the most inspiring and radical ideas in Jewish tradition, and this week we have just concluded our three parts “Shmita 101 Course,” as part of Hakhel’s Summer Learning for 2021.

In the first session we learned about the 7 parts of Shmita, the key ideas behind it and its evolution through history.

In the second session we delved deeper into two of those 7 parts, namely the Shabbat of the Land and debt relief.

In the third session we held more of a conversation about the philosophy of living through, and evolving through, crises. Shmita actually educates us that cirses are a part of life and that it might be wiser to build into our some moderate, pre-planned and timed crises. They might actually help us alleviate the negative impacts of unplanned and uncontrolled crises.

Would you like to know more?

Until we open the next course, just click here below to listen to or watch the recordings.

Session 1 Video | Session 1 AudioSession 2 Video | Session 2 AudioSession 3 Audio


Shifting from Community Needs to Community assets

Many of us have asked ourselves or others questions like “What are the needs of our  community?” “What needs to change in our community”? “What are the challenges and barriers for achieving our goals?” 

Indeed, Many communities are focusing on addressing needs, deficits and problems. But let’s think of it differently: 

“If we ask people to look for deficits, they will usually find them, and their view of situations will be coloured by this. If we ask people to look for successes, they will usually find them, and their view of situations will be coloured by this”  (Kral, 1989).

The ABCD approach (Asset Based Community Development) is all about looking at the half full glass rather than at the half empty one, and building on community strengths and assets to create positive change. 

Read more about this approach, reflect and become inspired to embrace this positive approach in your community! 

ABCD approach is a community driven, bottom up approach to develop sustainable communities. Its foundation rests on a few simple truths: 1) everyone has gifts, 2) everyone has something to contribute , and 3) everyone cares about something and that passion is his or her motivation to act.

This approach does not overlook needs and problems, but rather utilizes strengths and assets to overcome them. 

We encourage you to visit the ‘Asset-Based Community Development Institute’ website for a rich library of resources and guides (English and Spanish too!). 

Want to learn more on community related topics? Check out Hakhel’s resource library!


Coming up soon: Jewish Intentional Communities Regional Conferences

Hakhel has traditionally excelled at bringing its international community leaders together at in-person opportunities such as Israel trips and conferences. This is where the network comes alive, ideas are exchanged, and connections are built, delivering real value and inspiration to the participants. Due to the current global COVID-19 crisis, it is not currently possible to bring people from all over the world together in this in-person manner, but it is possible to do so on the regional level.

Learn more about the upcoming series of regional JIC conferences. Registration will open soon, so you can choose the one closest to you and pack your bags! 

Hakhel’s series of regional Jewish Intentional Communities Conferences is aimed at reigniting and strengthening our global network in a way that participants are actively connecting with one another and understand that they share a common larger purpose.

We are offering 4 regional conferences: 

  1. North America: in-person (29-31/Oct/2021) at Isabella Freedman in Connecticut.
  2.  Australia: in-person (8-10/Oct/2021) in Melbourne, Australia.
  3. Eastern Europe: in-person (28-30/Oct/2021) in Medzybouzh, Ukraine.
  4. Europe: online (19-22/Nov/2021) – as part of the ECJC annual conference

These conferences will focus on high-level community-building skills while featuring workshops on Shmita as a unique opportunity to think Jewishly about our society, economy and environment, especially in the post-Covid world; and young diaspora Jewish communities and the complex relationship with Israel. In addition to this learning, another goal of the retreat is to open and develop lines of communications between Hakhel communities as a means of investing in the leadership of the Hakhel network as a whole.

Hakhel community participation in your local conference will be heavily subsidized by Hakhel. Please watch out for a dedicated email about these conferences with registration links, coming soon to your inbox!


The Oyven on the Road

FED (www.fedsocial.co) — an inclusive Jewish community that has been a proud member of the Hakhel network since 2018 — is on the road this summer making and breaking bread with other Hakhel communities with our new initiative, The Oyven!

The Oyven (Yiddish for oven) — reclaims the Jewish spirit of a communal oven, which for centuries served as a gathering point for a social exchange. Our Oyven is a platform for food, art and ideas where we together experience the shaping, baking and sharing of challah and other traditional breads, while engaging in Jewish creativity, music, texts and dialogue. 

For our kickoff on July 4, we partnered with Hakhel community Art Kibbutz at Rosmarins, a bungalow colony in the Catskills. We made pita, experienced live dance performances by Ronit Levin Delgado, Salit, and Iren Kamishev, and rocked out to the tunes of Dr. Ted and the Stone. Next, we journeyed to Vermont, where we joined the family camp of the Hakhel community Living Tree Alliance to make challah in the Oyven, as well as pizza, and all the food for the camp for its duration, July 8-11.

Next up, we are visiting Hakhel communities ACRe in Southern NJ; STAND Intentional Community in Saratoga Springs, NY; Bible Raps in Philadelphia; and hosting our own retreat in North Adams, MA. Find out more about these and other Oyven stops on our website here – and please let us know if we can come to your community!

[twocol_one]   [/twocol_one]

[twocol_one_last]   [/twocol_one_last]