Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Chicago programming brainstorm

Hello readers!

We in the Chicago Moishe House, benefitted from a visit from Rabbit Scott earlier this month. We were able to sit down with him and talk through our programming. Like the post before ours, we would also like to provide more opportunities for Jewish learning and Tikkun Olam. We spoke about enhancing some of our basic and most popular programs like Shabbat dinners by adding a small teaching moment (such as why do we circle our hands 3 times around the candles before saying the prayer) or adding a song session at the end of dinner. Small things like this could make the experience much richer for our attendees. We should also make a more concerted effort to reach out to the Jewish educators in our community. From our time in Avodah, we have many connections in the Jewish community in Chicago and we should take advantage of these. We've talked about having more events with speakers. We had a very successful shabbat dinner, when we co-hosted the meal with JCUA and heard from a minister working on community economic development in a neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.

We'd also like to create more tikkun-olam oriented events. A challenge we face is that a large portion of our community is already engaged in this because they work for social service agencies. However, I still think we should plan more one-time service opportunities. It's a good way to expose people to the variety of amazing agencies that exist in Chicago. Additionally, people will walk away feeling good about what they've done, but also, hopefully, with a stronger motivation to work for lasting change in our society.

We would also like to see our community members plan more of the programs. We're really excited about our Tu B'shevat/Environmental Justice/MLK Memorial event this Sunday when we'll do a Tu B'shevat seder and a workshop on worm composting. This has been planned by several of the people in our community so it's great to work with them on this. We continue to talk about doing an online survey to get a better sense of what our community members want to see with our programming. Hopefully February will be the month.


Sarah Miles said...

Very insightful! Bravo, friend of mine.

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