Global, Identity, Religion

Jewish Living

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…

10 thoughts on “Jewish Living

  1. We have just the place for you Israel, the national home of the Jewish People. If we don’t want it to go down the tubes – we had better exploit its democratic process and turn the vote around to something we can stand for. Join us.

  2. Back in the day, I lived in DC. Not only were there a lot of really cool minyanim, there was a Moishe House both within the District and in Silver Spring which is another center of Jewish life. There were Jewish social action groups. I knew of a gay and lesbian Jewish social groups that existed outside minyans. There was the famous DC Beit Midrash, which I hope is still there. Lots of great Jewish life.
    I moved back to Boston, and I am slowly feeling it out again. I hope to see more. 1L year was not conducive to such exploration.

  3. Hey Blaine –
    Welcome back to Boston. If you’d like any help getting connected to davening, learning, GLBT, or other kinds of Jewish stuff here, ping me on facebook or send me an e-mail.

  4. If anyone knows of a Jewish group in SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA you should let me know…yeah i know, what was i thinking moving here right?

  5. Trista—
    There is a chabad ( )
    and a group on facebook called jews in korea
    my very jewish father just moved there for three years
    i think they are some younger people too–American Jews teaching English or traveling

  6. Trista, I’ll actually be moving to Seoul in September, and I know there’s a Chabad in the city. Anything beyond that though…

  7. Naomi-
    Want to be my friend? I live in bundang (a “suburb of seoul”) and i’m having a really hard time finding people to hang out with.

  8. In Portland they have a Jewish eco-house called Kayam. It started right before I moved away–about 6 months ago. They were trying to do some urban gardening and environmental living and they also joined up with synagogue young adult groups to co-sponsor social events. Talk about mad collaboration!

  9. I think it’s great that there are all of these options out there. I hadn’t heard about Kayam until know.
    And if this post helped bring together two folks in Seoul? Well, that’s pretty amazing.

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