You are combating apathy, disconnection, and disaffiliation in today's America. You are asking the right questions about the meaning of being together in this time and place -- and answering them through fantastically creative avenues and programs.
If you feel that being a pioneer and a shepherd all rolled up in one can sometimes be exhausting, or challenging, here’s something to cheer you up: You are not alone, and I have a recipe that will feed us all ;-).
Those who know me know that all menus are preceded by a story, so here is mine:
Four years ago, I set out on a journey to interview about 30 Jewish community builders to learn what we all had in common and what our challenges were. They all had a desire to get to know others due to an insatiable curiosity for and fundamental love of people; a knack for retaining knowledge about others so as to formulate helpful connections between disparate parties on the spot; and an ability to employ these talents for the sake of driving forward projects, and ultimately missions. Sound familiar?
But more than that, the vision that came out of those interviews was that there was a need for a network of “network-weavers” (don’t worry, they didn’t call themselves that, either).
Since then, I founded a community that restores our human capacity for empathy through delicious food, inspirational ideas, artistic performances, and dialogue with people from diverse backgrounds who engage with Jewish creativity and culture.
I called it FED: it’s like TED, but you get fed.
As Victor Hugo (the French guy*) said: nothing is more compelling than an idea whose time has come. So tell me what you think of this menu.
- Hand-picked invitees, chosen for their brilliant minds and community-building efforts, with a bent towards community engagement and the arts.
- Get them together, with their passions and experiences.
- Put them in a Harlem Loft.
- Have a French facilitator* pose meaningful questions to feed their souls (he didn’t know how to cook), and a New Yorker chef (yeah NYC!) to feed their stomachs with delicious food.
- Bake for a few hours.
- Enjoy the company.
- Create a first and one-of-a-kind woven meeting.
- Explore the feasibility of all of us doing complementary work.
- Allow us to achieve more together than we could alone.
- Lay the foundation of an up-and-coming Professional Field.
Yield: One Batch of Widening Your Vision for Creativity, Connection, and Action.
*About that French facilitator: The conversation will be facilitated by Ruben Uzan, who has expertise in the influence industry of advertising; the authority industry of politics; and in the reshaping industry, where he facilitates collective identity-building for self-organized communities, nonprofits and the private sector with brand-storming workshops.
Let me know if you are interested in participating, and/or what thoughts you have about this idea. We hope to find a date in early December. Also, if you have colleagues or know others who you think should be part of the conversation, I would welcome the opportunity to connect with them.