Join the Jews of Color Space as we come to the end of Shabbat with Havdalah & Tisch on July 1st from 8-10:00 pm EST! We will gather at Malcolm X Park to do light text study and enjoy some nosh. There will also be an opportunity to make your own besamim (spices) bag to support you throughout the week. We hope to see you there!
We are building a community that is spiritually vibrant, radically inclusive, and reflects our vision for a world of justice, equity, and liberation. Be a part of it! Our community is built by and for religious, secular, and atheist Jews, families with kids, partnered and single people, queer and trans people, disabled and chronically ill people, D/deaf and hard of hearing folks, interfaith families, Jews of color and white Jews, and anyone interested in exploring and experiencing Jewish life. To learn more about getting involved and to join as a member, click here. Want to talk to a real human about how to plug in or to answer questions you have about the community? Contact our Membership Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s what our members and volunteer leaders have to say about being part of NSP:
Join Pushcart Judaica, NSP, and our partners for a weekend of queer, radical Jewish arts & culture in DC! June 23-25
Welcome Shabbat with NSP through uplifting song and prayer, and stay for a potluck dinner! Kabbalat Shabbat services will be led by Marni Loffman from 6:30-8pm
Marni Loffman is a composer, musician, singer and ritual-leader with a love of community education and asking big questions. With a background in cultural anthropology, religion and international peacebuilding, Marni is often weaving social analysis with music making practices. How can music help us belong? How has music played a role in the construction of identity? What does this sound like? What does this feel like? Marni’s debut album, the long short path, releases on rosh chodesh (the new month) Elul in mid august. the long short path is an invitation to pray from wherever you are on your journey, from a place of eternal wandering and continual arrival, from the paradox of belief, from desiring “traditional” sounds and also yearning for relevance, familiarity and meaning, from recognizing a kernel of truth everywhere but also knowing that no place contains the full picture. Listen to Marni’s debut single tefilat haderech on all streaming platforms.
לֹא עָלֶיךָ הַמְּלָאכָה לִגמֹר
AND THOUGH WE MAY NOT FINISH THIS:
Creating Home & Accountable Land Relationship as Queer Diasporic Jews
Together, we will view a mini-documentary capturing 7 years of communal work towards right relationship with land at Linke Fligl, a queer Jewish farm & cultural organizing project on Schaghticoke land (NY). From there, participants will explore personal relationships with land through a “Land Stories” practice, a ritual for sharing & witnessing our complex & evolving stories of loss, connection, home, & quest for accountable relationship with place.
New Synagogue Project Kollel, our Kindergarten through 7th grade kids’ education program, is hiring educators for the 2023-2024 school year!
Reflection by Rabbi Yosef on our community’s name:
The daily morning liturgy contains the phrase “blessed is the one who spoke and the world came into being.” The idea is that the world was created through words. As it says in Genesis in the creation story, “And God said ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Embedded in this teaching is the profound understanding that words have power to create. Just think about words that have hurt you. Now think about words that have healed you. Words have the power to shape reality. So too when it comes to names: the words by which we call ourselves matter. And we just gave ourselves a new name. Or, more like we made our old name our new name, or something like that. So now that it’s a official I’ve been thinking about the meaning of our name.
NEW Synagogue Project
Our tradition has a lot to say about the idea of doing something new. It says in Psalm 96 (part of Friday night liturgy) “Shiru l’Adonai shir chadash, shiru l’adonai kol haaretz” Sing to Adonai a new song, sing to Adonai the whole earth. Sometimes we think of religion and tradition as already set and established, but in this Psalm is an imperative to pray, to praise, to connect with all of creation through a new song. (If you hadn’t already guessed, I was the one who suggested “Shir Chadash: A New Synagogue Project”, but the majority has spoken!)Not only is newness not anathema to Judaism, I learned from my teacher Dr. Judith Kates that change itself is actually embedded in the tradition. In the 5th book of the Torah, Devarim (Deuteronomy), Moses gives the longest sermon EVER in which he retells the stories of B’nai Yisrael’s 40 year wandering through the desert. But here is the thing, he rewrites the story. He changes it. In some very important ways. And this is all in the Torah. In our focus on liberation and engagement in both the political and the spiritual, our ecstatic and accessible prayer, our separation of Judaism and nationalism, our bringing together of mystics, agnostics, and atheists in the same community, and in so many other ways — we are striving to do something new! AND YET, our striving for newness is not original, we are following in the steps of our ancestors. In both the past and present, others have striven and are striving for many of the same things. We can aim for something new while also having humility and gratitude for those who came before us.
New SYNAGOGUE Project
There is now a whole world of Jewish spiritual startups that intentionally reject the synagogue model. They think the synagogue is dead, no longer relevant. In the past year, many people from this world have asked Lauren and me, “you’re starting a synagogue?!? Why would you do that?!” My response has been and continues to be: a synagogue is by definition an intentional community and in our society being in intentional community is a counter cultural and radical act. We eschew the individualistic notion that says each of us should go at it alone. Opting-in and joining community affirms that we are connected, that we value a collective, and will throw our lot in with others, beyond just our friend group and family. It affirms that we need help, that we will ask for help, and that we will give aid to one another. Building a synagogue also means that we are building an institution. The downside of institutions is that they can get stale, stuck in their ways, and ossify. That’s why we have “new” in our name! We must commit to regular reflection in order to review and renew what we’re doing. On the other hand, institutions have power. And if we want to make change, if we want to fight displacement in DC or build safety through solidarity with other communities, we need to build power. Institutions also have infrastructure to support our individual and collective needs: this includes the infrastructure to take care of one another, to celebrate lifecycle events and to mourn loss, as well as to educate ourselves and our children. We are building a synagogue.
New Synagogue PROJECT
Remember those group project assignments in high school? That was bad. Well, this is our opportunity at redemption. We’re building community together. At times it’s fun. At times it’s messy. And it’s always in process. I am so grateful and excited to be the rabbi of the New Synagogue Project. It is a tremendous honor and joy. I look forward to continuing to create together.
Our Annual Membership Meeting is on Sunday, May 21! We hope you’ll join us! Register below.