New Brooklyn Egalitarian Minyan

What happens to Jews who enjoy Saturday morning traditional egalitarian davening before they can afford, or after they grow out of, Manhattan’s upper west side? Apparently, they bond together and have Shabbat Shacharit in beautiful townhouses in Park Slope!
If the sweet dogs and fuzzy haired infants weren’t welcoming enough, the atmosphere created by the participants was certainly sufficient. The sun-drenched second floor living room was full of mis-matched folding chairs, a rainbow of tallitot, and daveners ranging from early twenties to late thirties.
Davening was complete but neither rushed nor dry. All shlichei tzibur (service leaders) took chances with their choice of tunes, ranging from sneaking in the familiar Leonard Cohen “Halleluyah” to Psalm 146 to pulling out an obscure (probably old-school cantorial) Adon Olam melody as a finale. There were seven spectacular Torah readers, plus a stellar d’var Torah delivered by a rabbinical student from Hebrew Union College.
Though this Shteeble Hopper may prefer a more lively scene, the overall experience of visiting a vibrant independent minyan trumped all cons of this minyan. The fact that a team of no less than ten people worked to put this minyan together, combined with the close to fifty people who woke up early on Saturday morning to make it beautiful, made it an enjoyable experience. While it didn’t hurt to run into a few friends at the minyan, there were so many people making an effort to mix and mingle, I suspect that even someone who came on their own would feel welcome.
Here’s my question of the month: is this good for the Jews? (Okay so it’s not a new question). Considering the handful of upper-west-siders who made a choice to come all the way to Brooklyn for this service, in addition to those in the neighborhood who came out for it, this minyan certainly already has a strong attraction toward the young Jewish adults of New York City. Whether these remaining forty or so Park Slope area residents belong to local shuls or not is perhaps a question, though I can only assume that the ones who are both under 30 and have been there for less than a year probably do not. Even if all fifty participants belong to shuls, I can see that this minyan is filling a much-needed niche for these people – intimate, spirited, lay-led davening.
Out of five carrots, the Shteeble Hopper gives New Brooklyn Egalitarian minyan five carrots.
Note: this minyan does not have a website. For more information, send an email here.
If you missed the first post in this series, check out Birth of Shteeble Hopper.
P.S. Thanks to Ben Baruch of Jewschool’s favorite comic strip Shabot6000 for creating new Shteeble Hopper logo.

4 thoughts on “New Brooklyn Egalitarian Minyan

  1. Love that bunny with a yarmulkah. With the rouge and the mascara clearly this is a girl bunny so thank you for the gender equality.

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