28 Days, 28 Ideas #28: Beit Kneset? Beit Midrash? What about the Beit Cafe?
by David A.M. Wilensky · Sunday, February 28th, 2010
Here’s an excerpt:
What about a third kind of beit? What about the modern institution known as the Beit Cafe, perhaps better known in America as the Coffee House? It’s place where discussions happen, planned or spontaneous, as well as cultural events like readings and musical performances. In the contemporary American mind, exciting intellectual and cultural movements are associated with coffee shops, a definite plus for this model.”
Some of Boulder’s coffee places are starting to look like informal “beit cafes.” During the day you can drop in at any time and run into other members of the community. Rabbis have meetings in coffee places. Some places are even used for larger group discussions. Some of us play maj in cafes, some knit in cafes. . . wouldn’t it be neat if one (or more) of these places became a focal point, a “Jewish Hangout” – where we go to have coffee and dessert and schmooze? Maybe an occasional author talk. Maybe music sometimes. Who knows what might be brewing in that kind of environment?
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