Every now and then, a congregation needs to step back and hit the “refresh” button. We need to improve how our Congregation serves its members, how our members serve each other, and how we help heal the world. So we have launched a program for Jewish Renewal Renewal—we’re calling it Operation Reconnect—through which we will reconnect ourselves with each other and with our origins as a vibrant, participatory community, and restore our roots in Jewish values and history. Through Operation Reconnect we will remember Havurah’s vivid beginning, rededicate ourselves to our community and to its role in the world, and reinvigorate and rejuvenate our ties to Jewish values, traditions, and practices.
Practically speaking, that means that volunteers will be reaching out to each family in Havurah to participate in this discussion and the actions that grow from it. We hope this effort: identifies ways for new and long-time members to find meaningful connections; orients our activities to meet the spiritual, social, and social-action needs of the community; and provides some fun and unexpected turns along the way. This is not just a program for some—it’s a process in which we all need to participate.
Why Renew and Reconnect Havurah Shalom? Because post-modern life in the 21st-century fragments and disconnects us from others, from ourselves, from our familial and cultural origins. Because to help heal the world effectively we must be whole ourselves and connected to our own community. Because real participation in a vivid, questioning, seeking havurat can provide solid connections with our fellow Jews and between us and our rich Jewish tradition. Such connection to each other and to Jewish tradition doesn’t give us easy answers to life’s challenging questions, but it does give us strength to confront them and to make and then live our own answers for our own time.