PresenTense: Exciting Brainstorming Meeting at David’s Citadel by Jenny Kaufman

June 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Jenny Kaufman, PresenTense Fellowship 2010 | Leave a comment

I just got back from a breakfast meeting with a few of the other Presentense fellows and Phil Cohen.  Phil is a well connected businessman in Cleveland who had some helpful advice about collaborating with local Synagogues in Cleveland to help the minyan get off the ground, presenting the case that the minyan is not in direct conflict with their pursuits but rather should be seen as another means to the same end, an engaged and excited religious community in Cleveland.  Truth be told, the minyan (because of its nature as a lay-lead congregation) is not attempting to usurp the place of the traditional religious establishments, but can be seen as a new model for engagement across denominational lines.  It will ultimately be a feeder for established congregations in the area.  As people age and have children, the minyan (as it is) is not able to provide key life-cycle services and educational infrastructure for families that the traditional synagogue already has in place.  The minyan, in its ideal function, will capture a younger demographic that isn’t necessarily being involved in the current infrastructure.  As an end product, it will turn out engaged, knowledgeable, and excited members into the larger Cleveland community, ready to step in and take on leadership roles in their congregation of choice.  This is a great thing for all Jews in Cleveland, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox.  All of our ultimate goals point towards Jewish engagement, and it will be much easier to accomplish this if we all work together.  I look forward to involving community leaders from all different backgrounds in the community Beit Midrash (more to come on that as it gets flushed out) and in the general dialogue of how the minyan project is taking shape.


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