We don’t usually send out emails on the Sunday of a holiday weekend. But we’ve chosen to do so today to make it easier for you to participate in a unique online experiment that’s taking place today, tomorrow, and Tuesday. It’s an “online jam,” and it proceeds from a unique conference that I attended in Jerusalem in November (and which I wrote about in this email.)
Following that gathering, seven groups proceeded to flesh out ideas for what we could/should do to renew Jewish life, in a partnership between the government of the State of Israel and diaspora Jewish communities. The intent is to commit $200m+ to one or more projects arising from this process, with the government putting in $100m (already fairly firmly committed, subject only to final budget ratification next month) and with diaspora communities contributing at least a further $100m+. (That latter number is a little iffier; can the money be found or raised? That will itself probably hinge on the ideas that come out the other side of this [vegan] sausage machine.)
That’s where you come in. An “online jam” has now begun, and will run through Tuesday. All the draft papers have been posted. You can read them; you can comment; you can add your own ideas. I think there’s some kind of online facilitation, also. The whole thing is a grand experiment, so it could flop. And there’s no certainty that money will ultimately be committed, or that your particular views will affect the outcome. But I take this process at face value: I think that money will indeed be committed; I expect that new projects will arise, or existing ones will be expanded; and I believe – and certainly hope – that your voice will indeed count.
PS. It’s only 57 shopping days till seder night! You’re warmly invited to join us for what should be a truly remarkable Pesach retreat at Isabella Freedman with produce from our fields; OU Glatt Kosher pasture-raised meat from local farms and sourced by Grow & Behold; Seders and Divrei Torah led by “New York’s Funniest Rabbi,” Rabbi Neil Fleischmann, back for his 15th year; wildly popular environmental programs for kids, Camp Teva, featuring engaging activities for the young ones every day of the retreat, led by Julie Rezmovic-Tonti & Rabbi Mat Tonti; daily traditional (with mechitza) davenning in our beautiful synagogue featuring the spirited hazzanut of Mattisyahu Brown; plus hikes, yoga, a folk concert with Laura Wetzler, and a campfire and kumzits (singing) night. And the baby goats are usually born during Pesach – it’s rather fun to hang out with them. Click here for more info and to register.