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Glimpse into the Future of Jewish Life

It may have been an uRetreat 2013 023(2)nprecedented event for Boulder, Colorado.

On March 14, 2013, Boulder’s Rabbis, Synagogue Executive Directors, Education Directors and members of the BJCC gathered at the historic Chautauqua Community House for a visioning exercise.

Five years from now, there is a New York Times article featuring the Boulder Jewish Community as a model for Jewish communities around the world. What does it look like, what do you hear, what are the smells? If you notice someone limiting their thinking, challenge it.”

This was the directive from Rabbi Ariel Burger, the Director of the Commission on Jewish Life and Learning at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston, our facilitator.

How’s this for a glimpse into the future of Jewish life in Boulder County?

  • Smells green, like chickens and goats and fresh baked challah on Friday afternoons
  • Feels like the excitement of the first day of Jewish summer camp
  • Fosters community and collaboration
  • Inspires creativity and instills leadership and responsibility
  • Activates participants in social justice work
  • Engages us in our passions –art, music, literature, sports – with a Jewish twist
  • Connections and relationships thrive across all demographics, ages, and denominations
  • There is a Kosher, macrobiotic, vegan, organic, gluten-free, raw deli in the Boulder JCC

For almost two years, Jewish Together – Boulder (comprised of the Executive Directors, Rabbis and Board Members of Boulder synagogues and the JCC) and the Boulder Educator’s Team (comprised of education directors from Jewish institutions) have been meeting to have “Courageous Conversations” with one another about how we can work across denominations and institutions to enhance Jewish life in Boulder County. During this visioning retreat, these two groups came together to “think outside-the-box” and figure out how our partnerships can transform into true collaborations.

How can we, as a community, address the changing landscape of Jewish life in the 21st century – a Judaism that looks very different than the one that existed a generation ago?

We now want to move beyond visioning. We know we already have elements of this vision in our community now, but we don’t want to rest in complacency. We want to impact people’s lives both large and small. We want participants in Jewish life who are so excited they can’t wait to return and bring a friend.

In the next few months, we will be unveiling new initiatives, programs and ideas to engage everyone in the greater Boulder Jewish community. We want to be dynamic and different. We want to deepen your connection to each other and to Judaism.

In the coming months, 18 Pomegranates will be holding special informative meetings, to brainstorm how we can support these initiatives, making them sustainable into the future. If you would like to attend, please contact, Francine@18Pomegranates.org.

About Amy Atkins

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