From June 1 – 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, the Jewish Emergent Network will gather with thought leaders from around North America for (RE)VISION: Experiments & Dreams From Emerging Jewish Communities, a dynamic, content-rich, Shabbat-based conference held at IKAR and co-hosted by the Jewish Emergent Network organizations: IKAR in L.A., Kavana in Seattle, The Kitchen in San Francisco, Mishkan in Chicago, Sixth & I in Washington, D.C., and Lab/Shul and Romemu in New York.
“Conference participants can expect to encounter innovative approaches to ritual and prayer, experience a diverse spectrum of music, explore vibrant models of radically welcoming community engagement, develop strategies for navigating justice and moral leadership, and be immersed in the best practices of the Jewish Emergent Network communities and other pioneering Jewish organizations from around the country,” says Melissa Balaban, Chair of the Network and Executive Director of IKAR.
The three full days of content will feature laboratories, galleries, interactive experiments, panels, guest speakers and other creative learning modules, with plenty of time built in for networking, davening, singing and creating community. Registration is open to the public: rabbis, cantors, Jewish professionals, lay leaders, academics, philanthropists, activists and interested-folks-at-large are invited to nab the remaining spots at www.JewishEmergentNetwork.org.
(RE)VISION will also be the official introduction of the Network’s second cohort of select, early career rabbinic fellows and the farewell sendoff for the first cohort. The goal of the Network’s hallmark Rabbinic Fellowship is to create the next generation of entrepreneurial, risk-taking change-makers, with the skills to initiate independent communities and who are valuable and valued inside existing Jewish institutions and synagogues.
The second cohort will follow in the path of the first cohort to become steeped in the spirit and best practices of the Network organizations. Each will finish the two-year Fellowship poised to educate and serve an array of target populations, especially Jews not currently engaged in Jewish life, young adults and families with young children. While engrossed in the work of thriving Network communities, the Fellows will also receive in-depth training and immersive mentoring as part of a national cohort of creative, vision-driven rabbis eager to invest in the reanimation of North American Jewish life.
The just-hired cohort of Network Fellows includes: Keilah Lebell at IKAR in Los Angeles, Josh Weisman at Kavana in Seattle, Tarlan Rabizadeh at The Kitchen in San Francisco, Jeff Stombaugh at Mishkan in Chicago, Jesse Paikin at Sixth & I in Washington, D.C., and Emily Cohen at Lab/Shul in New York. (You can see their bios, here.) The outgoing cohort includes Rabbi Nate DeGroot (IKAR), Rabbi Sydney Danziger (Kavana), Rabbi Jonathan Bubis (The Kitchen), Rabbi Lauren Henderson (Mishkan), Rabbi Suzy Stone (Sixth & I), Rabbi Kerry Chaplin (Lab/Shul), and Rabbi Joshua Buchin (Romemu).
The communities in the Network do not represent any one denomination or set of religious practices. What they share is a devotion to revitalizing the field of Jewish engagement, a commitment to approaches both traditionally rooted and creative, and a demonstrated success in attracting unaffiliated and disengaged Jews to a rich and meaningful Jewish practice. While each community is different in form and organizational structure, all have taken an entrepreneurial approach to this shared vision, operating outside of conventional institutional models, rethinking basic assumptions about ritual and spiritual practice, membership models, staff structures, the religious/cultural divide and physical space.
Seed funding for the first four years of this program has been generously provided through a grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation. Additional support is provided by the William Davidson Foundation, the Crown Family, the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, and Natan. Network members are continuing to secure additional program funding over the next two years.