You’re young (say, under 40), post-college aged, and have moved to a new city. You want to have some sort of Jewish life, but you’re not sure what you’re looking for… For the sake of argument, let’s exclude NYC from this because, well, it’s the diaspora hotspot and you can be any number of different kinds of Jewish there, with minimal effort. But what do you do in other cities?
Seattle’s Ravenna Kibbutz got a shout out in the Seattle Times real estate section, with an article explaining their philosophy, how they’re building a neighbourhood of young Jews, and what programs they’re offering.
Founded in 2007 and inspired by other local cohousing arrangements as much as the socialist Israeli collective farms of old, the kibbutz has rapidly become a magnet for Jewish young adults moving to Seattle. Of the founders, Joel Rothschild, 30, is from Olympia; Masha Shtern, 25, from Moscow; Tamar Libicki, 24, from Columbus, Ohio; and Azura Newman, 31, is from southern Michigan.
The kibbutz recently expanded, opening its third house in late June and annexing the basement floor in one existing house when the renters moved out. Planned for the new home: chickens and more room for kitchen gardens.
Kibbutzniks describe their living situation in many ways — Jewish cohousing, a neo-shtetl, an intentional community, a nondenominational gathering place. Where the original Jewish kibbutz movement of communal farms helped build the state of Israel, modern urban kibbutzim — there are others in Israel, Toronto and Brooklyn — help young city Jews both live cheaper and stay involved in Judaism. The cheaper living also frees residents to devote time to civic projects; several residents work for local nonprofits. [Read more.]
What communities are there in your cities? Is there a Moishe House? A kitbbutz? Jewish co-housing? Groups that meet regularly to either do Jeiwsh things (going to Jewish movies) or do things with Jews (Jews going to the movies)? I’d love to see what’s happening in the comments, get some idea sharing happening…