What are Villages?

This is our small group initiative, introduced during Shavuot, where you’ll have opportunity to connect with others over different religious, cultural and community interests. New skills and areas of study are introduced and you’ll have entirely new opportunities to learn and engage. If you’d like more information, reach out to Esther Schuster.

Below is a little about each Village and what you might expect from upcoming Village meetings in the summer!

Villages Brochure 2021 is available here.

Shelby Village: A Neighborhood Village with Cathy Fingerman: Remember growing up in a neighborhood where everyone knew you and your family, and neighborhood block parties or backyard BBQ’s created family memories and long-lasting friendships? The Neighborhood Village concept seeks to replicate that concept for modern-day living.

Food, Family and Cooking with Bethany Slater: Share cooking, food and family memories together! We’ll talk about our mutual love of food, and discuss family and cooking stories. This will be a precursor to a cooking club of sorts and we’ll hash out plans for future gatherings. Group will be led by Esther Schuster in the future.

Podcast Club with Dani Kahn-Krell: Dani will lead us in a listening of Judaism Unbound’s “Holidays Unbound Episode 3: Passover Part II”, focusing on a segment challenging the historicity of the Exodus and discussing implications modern scholarship has on our understanding of the Torah and our Jewish identities.

Walking with Intention with Ellen Italiaander and Sheri Krell: Walk this way! Come one, come all!  Join us for a 30 minute walk around the Beth El neighborhood. We will partner up and enjoy the scenery while we have interesting conversations about lots of thoughtful things! Let’s connect with nature and each other. Don’t forget your comfortable shoes.

Yiddish Humor 101 with Barry Dreayer: This group brings together people who love humor, especially Jewish humor and like to share bits from their favorite comics and maybe even plan an evening at the comedy club. This Village is recommended for anyone who likes jokes and likes to laugh. The group will determine the content and how often to meet.

Jews Who Wine with Josh Grace: Josh’s intimate knowledge of all things wine will have you connecting on flavors, history, wine in Judaism and much more.

Camping & S’More with Alex Grodner and Asher Krell: Alex will lead the group through all things outdoors related – camping, hiking, and generally spending time outside – and how it relates to building and growing a strong Jewish connection. Although we are no longer wandering in the desert, there are still so many mental, physical, and spiritual positives to stepping away from everyday life and going outside. Come by our village to learn more!

News Through a Jewish Lens with Daniel Levine: We’ll talk about a potential meeting schedule, which might include weekly meetings where we’ll take on a different perplexity in the ever-changing landscape of Jewish/Israeli politics, based on the interests and concerns of the group. Possible topics: Why has Israel had five elections in two years? When/how did Jews become white? When is criticism of Israel legitimate and when is it not?  When did Judaism become a religion? What is the deal with Birthright?