open-door-projectBy Rabbi George Wielechowski

The Open Dor Project is a new initiative, inspired and powered by Moishe House, and designed to further the creation and development of emerging Jewish spiritual communities across the country.

Applications open today, November 14th, at www.opendorproject.org, and will be accepted through January 13, 2017.

The idea for the Open Dor Project is, in some ways, a simple one: Create a learning community that helps exceptional spiritual startup leaders receive the mentorship, training, spiritual support, and resources they need to build inspiring Jewish communities that touch hearts and connect lives.

Our team believes that the more fundamental support emerging Jewish spiritual leaders and their innovative communities receive in the early stages, the more they will be able to reach and meaningfully serve the ever-growing population of people around the country that aren’t very likely to walk through the doors of more traditional Jewish institutions.

The project’s main work will be to support cohorts of 3-to-5 entrepreneurial spiritual leaders in their efforts to build new and vibrant models of Jewish spiritual community. Cohorts will be chosen through an open application process, with a new cohort created each year, for the next three years.

The success and leadership of the Jewish Emergent Network gives the Jewish world a solid proof-of-concept when it comes to the inspirational power that new models of spiritual community offer a population seeking creative experiences, vibrant learning, and open and welcoming environments through which to explore their Jewish spirituality and identity. After spending the summer connecting with colleagues at many of the JEN communities about their experiences, and speaking to nearly 20 other rabbis leading similar communities across the country in different stages of development, I’ve come to believe that these creatively unbounded Jewish leaders are building a needed variety of communities of spirit and learning that offer us our best hopes of successfully serving the spiritual and life needs of many modern people.

There are growing populations of seekers around the country who are yearning to build meaningful lives through a Jewish lens and to feel a deep sense of connection and belonging to each other and the Jewish frame of heart and mind. The Open Dor Project strongly believes that one of the best ways to serve these people is through increasing access and the opportunity to engage with the type of creative and inspirational Jewish life that emerging spiritual communities offer.

We invite entrepreneurial Jewish clergy to learn more and apply at www.opendorproject.org.

Rabbi George Wielechowski is the founding director of the Open Dor Project.

The Open Dor Project is inspired and powered by Moishe House.