Bemidar (Numbers), the fourth book of Torah, opens by describing the Children of Israel. Upon taking a census, the Israelites organized around the Mishkhan, with the Tabernacle at the center.
This mobile holy site was flanked on four sides. Levite families formed the inner ring and the twelve tribes camped along the outer one.
It is the gathering that was essential. And so, it remains today.
Over a millennium, the shaping of space into communities has engaged the Jewish people from the Sinai desert to the American Midwest, and in particular, right here in Michiana. Nurturing community is an important and ongoing endeavor in our daily lives.
Today, the Federation has entered into a three-year structured plan to build a greater community right here at home. It is a plan that holds unique, perhaps even historic promise for all of us.
The first phase of the plan is about listening to each other so that we might develop an agreed understanding of our community’s diversity and needs. To further this objective, we’re reaching out to everyone we can through informal and formal meetings, such as Hineni Listening Groups, Townhalls, surveys, day-in-the-life visits to community institutions and countless phone and Zoom calls.
Our Jewish community is both virtual and physical. It always has been. But the common thread that we’ve pulled through all this listening so far, is that within our diverse community, we share mutual interests, mutual goals and experiences. Only by connecting and sharing, we can work toward these common values and goals.
The three-year Community Plan will ensure our community nurtures our mutual values through these three core ideals:
Meaningful Jewish journeys
Vibrant Jewish life
No one left behind
Community building is a human enterprise. It requires participation and demands that everyone’s voice is heard. The best, most effective, and sustainable community plans are crafted with everyone’s input.
In developing our Michiana plan, we must first recognize the opportunities that lie ahead. Some of them are disguised as challenges. Some seem insurmountable, though none really are.
It’s why we created the BIG Idea Bank – to identify challenges and bring your ideas for solutions to bear. We’re casting this wide net so that you and your friends will make creative deposits and share your wisdom regarding our community as we move toward the future.
Your deposits into the BIG Idea Bank, will be analyzed for consistent themes that help shape the final plan. Your participation is essential.
So, I encourage you send your Big Ideas to BigIdeas@TheJewishFed.org today. “Deposit” your ideas so that we can add them to the collection.
Please join me on this three-year journey. Help us build a more robust Jewish life right here in Michiana.