As MHDC is plowing through 2010, we want to take a look back on the goals that we set out at the beginning of the year. One of our biggest goals was to incorporate more Jewish content into our programming and to bring more prayers and songs to our Shabbats. In the past few months, we have started an initiative of having people over to just light candles, say prayers and eat some challah on the nights we don’t have large Shabbats. It’s a way to create community in a smaller environment, bring more intention and focus to the prayers and to spend just an hour or so with community members before doing our own thing for the rest of the night. This has become something that really has made Shabbat a weekly practice at MHDC, regardless of there being a massive group or not.
Another goal we had was to do more partnerships. We are lucky to have strong ties with the progressive Jewish community here in DC and we have partnered with Jews United for Justice, Avodah and Theater J in the past several months. One challenge to these partnerships is that Shabbat really seems to be a natural place to co-sponsor. But our community is very used to the MHDC Shabbat, straight no chaser. They enjoy the way we run things and though we have had a lot of praise for our co-sponsored Shabbats, there certainly is a call in the community for the more standard style. This is a challenge we will be working with as we look to our goals in the future.
Finally, we had a goal of doing more programming out of the house. Through the Snowpocolypse and general dreariness of DC winters, we were doing a lot of events that were some form of “come over, sit on couch, eat.” While the weather is getting nicer, we have branched out to the park, local bars, rock climbing gyms and museums to meet this goal.
As a house, we still find these goals incredibly relevant and will continue to work towards them over the next three months. I would say at this point, given our excitement coming off the retreat and the way we are inspired by Rabbi Scott’s learning sessions, bringing in more Jewish content and a space for group learning is certainly at the top of list. We are constantly thinking of new ways to make Shabbat special and spiritual and also hope to contact local rabbis for a learning session with our community.
Only good things ahead for the the MHDC!