Welcome to the Jewish Emergent Network
The Jewish Emergent Network Organizations'
Online Offerings During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The Jewish Emergent Network comprises the leaders of seven path‐breaking Jewish communities from across the United States who 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 ran an innovative Rabbinic Fellowship in from 2016-2020, its first major collaborative project. This Fellowship placed two cohorts of seven select early career rabbis into each of the 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. Stay tuned! The Network is using what it learned in piloting this Rabbinic Fellowship to design path-breaking adult education and leadership development programs set to launch in 2021. The Network also recently partnered with REBOOT to produce 12-straight hours of streaming Shavuot content experienced by over 30,000 people (check it out here!), and is currently working on collaborative and accessible Elul and High Holy Day programming for 2020.
The Network in the News
Ideas In Jewish Education & Engagement
What does the word “innovation” even mean? The Jewish Federations of North America asked Melissa Balaban of IKAR and Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum of Kavana to share the nature of their work. They highlight the work in the seven communities of the Jewish Emergent Network and define innovation in the start-up landscape.
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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.