What is the reason for coming together?
At our core, we humans are tribal. We like to belong to groups of individuals with similar views, thoughts and interests. There is comfort being among others who are like-minded. We want to feel a sense of belonging.
As Jews whose ethical heritage does not permit us to be silent in the face of Israel’s violent oppression of the Palestinian people, we are often turned off by the tacit acceptance of this oppression granted through the deafening silence of the Jewish establishment.
Our politics come from a deeply spiritual place. But it is our politics, inextricably linked to our deepest values, that exclude us from Jewish institutions, often forcing us to choose between integrity and Jewish community.
This leaves us feeling frustrated and disappointed. We still yearn for a sense of belonging, a community we can call home. We long to be able to talk with like-minded people. We feel isolated and rejected. We ask ourselves: How can we find a Jewish community without checking our politics and our values at the door?
What if I told you that there is a way to connect with like-minded Jews? Can you imagine what it would feel like to find a strong community of like-minded people? It can be scary to reach out to a community because you want to be confident that you will be able to connect with people. But I want to invite you to take the next step towards finding community.
We are launching an online membership program to connect people who identify as Jewish and feel isolated because of their views about Palestine. We are coming together to create a community of like-minded people where we all feel welcome, accepted, and connected.
Please join me and others who struggle with the same issues at JeLiThIn's Parashat HaShavua Group:
JeLiThIn’s Parashat HaShavua Group
Building community through text study and personal reflection
JeLiThIn’s Parashat HaShavua Group will give people who identify as Jewish and feel isolated because of their views about Palestine the opportunity to connect and build community through text study and personal reflection/sharing, without checking our radical politics and values at the door.
JeLiThIn’s Parashat HaShavua Group is a non-Zionist/anti-Zionist space for nonjudgmental community and connection with like-minded people. We aim to be anti-racist, anti-colonial, anti-ageist, anti-ableist, and feminist in our relationships with each other, welcoming feedback and collaboration as we create our non-Zionist/anti-Zionist community together.
JeLiThIn’s Parashat HaShavua Group does not presuppose any theology nor any particular knowledge about anything other than one's own life. It uses a group format to explore Jewish text, providing time for participants to reflect and share sources of inner strength, beliefs, values, and spiritual needs with the group. We will meet via Zoom once a week every Thursday at 11:00 am and/or 7:00 pm Eastern Time to read and reflect on the parasha of the week. (To find out the time in your time zone go here: https://24timezones.com/difference/).
Components of the program:
There are three important components for this community building through text study and personal reflection:
- Small group setting:
Through a small group setting, we will really get to know one another, we will gain group affirmation and validation that an individual cannot receive alone.
- Sharing and listening:
Through personal sharing and attentive listening, we will become aware of how others share our same beliefs and values.
- Online Community:
We will use a community platform in order to connect informally outside of the weekly Zoom meetings and to carry the conversation forward.
Do you want to join JeLiThIn’s Parashat HaShavua Group?
Send us an email to info[at]jelithin.ca if you want to apply for this program or if you have any questions (with “JeLiThIn's Parashat HaShavua Group” in the subject line)
Building a sense of community and belonging requires active effort and practice. And you need to do the work. The more you put into this community-building effort, the more you will get out of it. This is why you will be required to commit to doing the following:
- Commitment: Regular attendance.
- Homework: Your homework will be to read and reflect on the parasha of the week.
- Focus: Be present. During the Zoom sessions, we encourage you, if at all possible, to have your video on so that we can all see one another, and to avoid doing things unrelated to the session. Do not multitask. You must commit to striving to be fully present during the session.
- Feedback: Your ongoing feedback throughout this process is vital to make JeLiThIn’s Parashat HaShavua Group work for you.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.