12/8/16

Election Aftermath Tests Alternative Synagogues

Election Aftermath Tests
Alternative Synagogues

Strength of year-old Jewish Emergent Network
faces challenge amid ‘national awakening’ after vote.

Two months after beginning a rabbinic fellowship sponsored by the Jewish Emergent Network, a collaboration between seven unconventional communities around the country rethinking Jewish engagement, Rabbi Kerry Chaplin found herself swaying arm in arm with hundreds of others at a Havdalah ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial.

It was the weekend after the election results and the seven newly instated rabbinic fellows were in Washington, D.C., for one of the fellowship’s seven retreats. Though the Havdalah ceremony had been planned in advance, the unexpected victory of Donald Trump left many seeking support and solace, and the turnout far exceeded expectations. The seven fellows, all of whom had begun the two-year fellowship just weeks before, used the ritual to symbolize the importance of unity and inclusion — the braided candle represented the joining together of communities, said Chaplin.

“This was the first ritual we, the fellows, created together,” said Rabbi Chaplin, the rabbinic fellow at Lab/Shul, an experimental Jewish community in Lower Manhattan. “It gave me a taste of what the possibilities might be.”

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As seen on Lab/Shul : http://labshul.org/election-aftermath-tests-alternative-synagogues/11400