Welcome to the Jewish Emergent Network
The Jewish Emergent Network is comprised of the leaders of seven path‐breaking Jewish communities from across the United States that have come together in the spirit of collaboration. These include: IKAR in Los Angeles, Kavana in Seattle, The Kitchen in San Francisco, Mishkan in Chicago, Sixth & I in Washington, D.C., and Lab/Shul and Romemu in New York.
The seven communities in the Network do not represent any one denomination or set of religious practices. What they share is a devotion to revitalizing the field of Jewish engagement, a commitment to approaches both traditionally rooted and creative, and a demonstrated success in attracting unaffiliated and disengaged Jews to a rich and meaningful Jewish practice. While each community is different in form and organizational structure, all have taken an entrepreneurial approach to this shared vision, operating outside of conventional institutional models, rethinking basic assumptions about ritual and spiritual practice, membership models, staff structures, the religious/cultural divide and physical space.
The Network launched an innovative Rabbinic Fellowship in 2016, its first major collaborative project. This Fellowship places select early career rabbis into each of the seven participating Network communities for a two-year period, in order to train the next generation of enterprising rabbis to take on the challenges and realities of 21st century Jewish life in America in a variety of settings.
The Network in the News
Election Aftermath Tests Alternative Synagogues
Strength of year-old Jewish Emergent Network faces challenge amid ‘national awakening’ after vote.
From The Jewish Week (December 7, 2016) Two months after beginning a rabbinic fellowship sponsored by the Jewish Emergent Network, a collaboration between seven unconventional communities around the country rethinking Jewish engagement, Rabbi Kerry Chaplin found herself swaying arm in arm with hundreds of others at a Havdalah ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial...
[ Read More ]
The term “Jewish emergent” was coined in 2005 by Synagogue 3000/S3K’s Shawn Landres, after a parallel Christian movement with a similar organizing philosophy, and analyzed in his 2006, 2008, and 2012 Sh’ma articles and elsewhere as a new movement of new rabbi-led congregational startups, lay-led independent minyanim, and other “para-shuls” and non-liturgical communities (see also Cohen, Landres, Kaunfer, and Shain, 2007). Landres and Joshua Avedon were the architects of S3K’s Meyerhoff Funds - and Nathan Cummings Foundation-funded Jewish Emergent Initiative (2006-2008). After 2008, Jewish Jumpstart/Jumpstart Labs, under Avedon and Landres, succeeded S3K in stewarding its work in the Jewish emergent field.
Meet The Fellows
Rabbi Jonathan Bubis
Before joining The Kitchen, Rabbi Jonathan Bubis was the assistant rabbi of Shomrei Torah Synagogue in West Hills, California. A graduate of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University, Rabbi Bubis is a Jewish educator and performing artist with a passion for music, theater, and Jewish text. He also has a penchant for Jewish prayer and leading communities in participatory, spiritually uplifting prayer services. He spent three summers heading up the drama department at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin—and seven summers total on drama staff—where he directed Broadway musicals in Hebrew and created original pieces of Jewish theater. Rabbi Bubis also works as a Storahtelling Maven, a revived form of the ancient translator/interpreter of Jewish biblical text, making ancient stories and traditions accessible for new generations in the synagogue and in the classroom, advancing Judaic literacy and raising social consciousness. He, along with his wife Becca, are thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Jewish Emergent Network.
Rabbi Joshua Buchin
Rabbi Joshua Buchin is a recent graduate of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University, and was ordained in May 2016. Before joining the Jewish Emergent Network, he worked as a Rabbinic Intern and Spiritual Counselor at Beit T'Shuvah, a Jewish residential treatment center in Los Angeles. For three years before joining the Network, he also served as the Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, CA. As an educator, he has worked with a wide range of children and adults in diverse settings, helping people find meaning in the Jewish tradition and connection with one another. He has been involved with the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Yeshivat Hadar in New York, Wilderness Torah, Bend The Arc, Rabbis Without Borders, and AJWS. He is also the author of a children's book, Tefilat HaDerech: The Traveler's Prayer (EKS Publishing, 2012).
Rabbi Kerry Chaplin
Ordained in 2015 by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University, Rabbi Kerry Chaplin served college students and other university constituents for three years—as the Rabbinic Intern at Hillel at UCLA and as the Director of Jewish Life and Assistant Director of Religious and Spiritual Life at Vassar College—before joining the Jewish Emergent Network. Relationship is at the core of her rabbinate and her inspiration to work towards justice and peace. Her own relationship with Judaism is anchored in tradition and evolving towards positional spirituality, in which our greatest socio-political challenges inform our religious identities and practices, and help us to become more of who we are in the world. Through projects like Two Faiths One Prayer and Talmud + Yoga, Rabbi Chaplin encourages others to bring all of who they are to Torah, and Torah to all the pieces of who they are. She received a B.A. in Religious Studies and an M.A. in Non-Profit Management from Washington University, and she lives with her wife, Julia, their cats, Izzy and Louie, and their, dog Charlie (Chaplin).
Rabbi Sydney Danziger
Raised in Albuquerque, Rabbi Sydney Danziger attended New York University and the University of New Mexico, graduating with a degree in Political Science and
Journalism. After graduating, she studied at an ulpan in Israel and, after returning to the U.S., she became a labor union organizer for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. In 2006, she became the Director of National Initiatives for Birthright Israel NEXT, where she worked with unaffiliated young adults. This experience eventually inspired her to apply to rabbinical school. During her time at Hebrew Union College, she interned at a variety of synagogues and Jewish
organizations, from Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York, to Congregation Albert in New Mexico and Hillel at UCLA . As a student, Rabbi Danziger was the recipient of the
coveted Schusterman Rabbinical Fellowship. Ordained in May of 2013, she joined Isaac M. Wise, where she served as the Assistant Rabbi for three years until joining the
Jewish Emergent Network. She and her husband, Benjamin, were married in 2016.
Rabbi Nate DeGroot
Rabbi Nate DeGroot, ordained in 2016 at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Boston, brings a love of community, a curiosity of form and structure, a devotion to justice-healing work, a propensity for celebration, and a passion for connecting with the sacred to all that he does. With a B.A. in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University, he has extensive experience in experiential education, community building, and organizational consulting to bolster his formal rabbinic learning. He was the founder of Mikdash, a grassroots cooperative Jewish community in Portland, Oregon that empowered folks to share their gifts and creatively integrate meaningful Judaism into the fabric of their lives. Rabbi DeGroot also holds a Master’s in Jewish Education from Hebrew College, and has filled leadership roles at a range of innovative Jewish organizations over the years, including AJWS, Encounter, T'ruah, Amir, and AJSS. He couldn't be more excited to join the IKAR team as part of the Jewish Emergent Network.
Rabbi Lauren Henderson
Rabbi Lauren Henderson finished rabbinical school and was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2016, with a Master’s in Midrash and a Certificate in Pastoral Care. She grew up in a small but mighty Jewish community in South Carolina as part of an interfaith family, and attended Rice University in Houston, where she graduated cum laude in Religious Studies and History and was involved with Houston Hillel. After a year at Pardes in Jerusalem, Rabbi Henderson began her rabbinic studies at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University and then moved to New York to continue studying at JTS. She's taught Torah and led prayer in a wide variety of settings such as IKAR, the Pelham Jewish Center, and Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Cleveland, and also served as a chaplain with DOROT and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. During summer 2015, she worked with fifth and sixth graders at Camp Ramah in the Rockies. Rabbi Henderson loves rocking out to all the davening tunes as Mishkan’s Jewish Emergent Network Rabbinic Fellow.
Rabbi Suzy Stone
Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Rabbi Suzy Stone graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in History in 2002. After graduating, she worked as a community
organizer, teacher and coach in Boston and Phoenix. Inspired by her experience in the Boston Jewish community, she decided to pursue rabbinical school as a way to combine her passion for Tikkun Olam (healing the world) and Tikkun HaNefesh (healing oneself). She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles in May 2012 and is a proud alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. As a newly ordained rabbi, Rabbi Stone began her career at Congregation B’nai B’rith in Santa Barbara, CA, where she served as Associate Rabbi. During her four years at Congregation B’nai B’rith, she focused on establishing strong adult education classes, new social justice initiatives, and teen engagement. In her free time she loves playing softball, cycling, and exploring new music and restaurants.