We prioritize… Community

    We strive to be a community that you can count on in times of joy and at times of loss. We want to be in relationship with other Jewish communities around the country and around the world. We want to deepen the interpersonal ties among members of the Jewish community in the area. We value the physical building of the synagogue and recognize that our community is much larger than the building.
Comment [BCS1]: What might we do for new parents? Or people recently moved to town? Comment [BCS2]: Are there things we can do to better care for mourners and for the deceased?

Comment [BCS3]: Should we have a retreat? Comment [BCS4]: How can we foster a culture of Shabbat meals?

We prioritize… Family
  We are families of all different types and configurations. Some of us have children at home and are trying to raise them with pride in their identity and knowledge of their heritage. Some of us are taking care of elderly parents who sometimes live far away. We value activities that a family with children can take part in; we also value activities that are appropriate for children alone and activities that are appropriate for adults alone. Some of us are adjusting to new patterns of living as children move off to college or to live on their own. Some of us have family members, such as retired parents or college students, who are part of the community even if they aren’t physically here. Many of us feel frazzled and harried by our patterns of daily living.
Comment [BCS5]: Like making challah? Comment [BCS6]: Like children’s’ services? Comment [BCS7]: Like adult learning?

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Comment [BCS8]: Can we use technology to maintain closer connections with them?

Comment [BCS9]: Are there times during the week when we could offer a moment of spiritual respite? Very early morning meditation? Midday prayer and silence?

We prioritize… Social Justice
 Just as we as individuals value being part of this community, so too, we hope for our community to be an active part of the larger Beacon community. We want to engage in larger issues of poverty and injustice in this area. As Jews, we are concerned with the civil and human rights of all people. We are interested in working both at a “hands-on” level and on a local governance level as well. As we are increasingly aware of how our food is made and where it comes from, we are particularly interested in issues of food justice.
Comment [BCS10]: Such as volunteering in local food kitchens? Comment [BCS11]: Are there ways we can work with other local community and/or faith organizations communities to advocate for the needy in this area? Comment [BCS12]: Can we be involved with making sure that everyone in Beacon, in the Jewish community and outside of it, has access to healthy food?

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We prioritize… Learning
    We are all growing in our knowledge of Judaism. None of us feel that we know enough. We are interested in secular aspects of Jewish culture, such as music, art and literature. We would particularly love to know more about Jewish food traditions, including cuisines, Jewish agriculture, kashrut and the practices of blessing before and after meals. We want to grow in our knowledge of our own interior lives. We want learning to be a joy and a delight for adults and for children. We don’t want the bar mitzvah to be the focal point or the end point of Jewish learning. We want learning to happen at shul, at home, in the marketplace, on-line – everywhere that our lives take place.
Comment [BCS13]: Perhaps we should have an Intro to Judaism class for adults that meets at the same time as Hebrew school?

Comment [BCS14]: What about a Jewish film festival? Comment [BCS15]: Could we have a Big Read, perhaps even a mid-Hudson Jewish Big Read, where we all read the same book every year and have events to discuss? Comment [BCS16]: What about a kosher cooking class? Comment [BCS17]: Could Common Ground be a partner here? Eden Village? Comment [BCS18]: Could we partner with the Jewish Meditation Center to do a program on Jewish eating meditations? Comment [BCS19]: An introduction to prayer group that would both learn and daven? Comment [BCS20]: What about multiple bar mitzvah options - a child could learn to read Torah, pray with intention, teach a class? Perhaps we can have some b'nai mitzvah in the synagogue and others on Mt. Beacon? Comment [BCS21]: What about an open house with Ellen and Brent so people can learn more about what the school is?

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We prioritize… Spiritual Practice
 Sometimes, we find the traditions and cadences of the Jewish spiritual tradition to be incredibly powerful and moving. Sometimes, we find the traditions and cadences of the Jewish spiritual tradition to be deadening and difficult. We strive to take the practices and values we inherit from the Jewish tradition seriously, both when they feel familiar and when they feel alien. We strive to take seriously our spiritual needs, both when they seem easily aligned with the Jewish tradition and when they don’t. We’re interested in aspects of Shabbat beyond prayer services. We’re eager to try out different ways of deepening our connection, and know that some efforts will be resonant and some will not. We want to be producers of Jewish life, not just consumers.
Comment [BCS23]: Could we have a Jewish meditation group? A Jewish Yoga group?

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Comment [BCS22]: How can we emphasize davvening as a practice as opposed to a performance?

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Comment [BCS24]: How can we foster a culture of small Shabbat meals in people’s homes?

Comment [BCS25]: Are there different ways we can configure the synagogue’s space, particularly downstairs?

We prioritize… Welcoming
 We’re made up of the widest possible diversity of people who seek connection to the Jewish tradition. We are proud to be comprised of people who: o are single. o are partnered. o have lived in this area their entire lives. o have just moved here. o are gay. o are straight. o are exploring the Jewish tradition. o are Jewish. o are married to Jews. o don’t have children. o have children at home. o have children who have moved away. o are just beginning to find their way in Judaism. o are deeply rooted in the Jewish tradition. o were born as Jews. o have converted to Judaism. o are comfortable financially. o are struggling financially. o have two Jewish parents. o have one Jewish parent. o have no Jewish parents. o are disabled. o are able bodied.
Comment [BCS27]: What sort of things do we need to do to make our physical plant more accessible? Comment [BCS26]: Should we have a late fall program for interfaith families to think about how to approach the December holidays?

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