Thursday, December 3, 2015

Welcome to the Big Tent

Fifth Night Hanukkah: It has only been a month since Abq Jew shared something from Andrew Silow-Carroll, Editor-in-Chief of the New Jersey Jewish News (see Davening With Laughter).

But it was a couple of years before that (see Laughing at PewLaughing at Pew 2; and Jewish Jokes for Dark Days), and Abq Jew is trying to make up for it.

In a recent article, Andrew (it's easier than Mr Silow-Carroll, and anyway he's younger than Abq Jew) introduced us to Big Tent Judaism, formerly known as the Jewish Outreach Institute.
Are you ready for the Big Tent? I mean, really ready? 
Last month saw the launch of Big Tent Judaism, a rebranding of the former Jewish Outreach Institute, an organization dedicated to making Jewish institutions welcoming for the unaffiliated, under-affiliated, Hebrew-curious, and just plain alienated. For much of JOI’s early life, the focus was on interfaith families; JOI deserves credit for goading synagogues and organizations into extending a welcome mat to the intermarried. 
The new name reflects the idea that “outreach” does not just pertain to the intermarried, but to anyone who doesn’t feel welcomed by the Jewish mainstream. The BTJ web site also refers to Jews-by-choice, unaffiliated and unengaged Jews, Jews with disabilities, and Jews from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. Those who sign up for the “Big Tent Judaism Coalition” pledge to, among others things, welcome all newcomers, offer free and low-cast “samples” of their services, and in general “lower barriers to participation.” 
“There has to be a place for everyone in the community, including those with whom I may not agree, but I am prepared to defend their right to be there,” Kerry Olitzky, the New Brunswick rabbi who heads BTJ, told our reporter this week.
<Read more
Abq Jew is happy to announce that

Congregation Albert is ready

for Big Tent Judaism and will therefore and forthwith provide a Fifth Night program for the entire Albuquerque Jewish community.

Fifth Night is a fun and simple way for children to participate in tzedakah (charity) by giving one night of Hanukkah gifts to another child in need.

Coming together to celebrate and donate helps our children learn how their giving impacts others, and makes the holiday even more meaningful. Together, we are also able to make a more significant contribution to a charity in need.

This year’s Fifth Night at Congregation Albert is especially planned for young children and their families. We are asking for donations of new, unwrapped toys for children up to age 17 and new or gently used coats in all sizes, that will be given to help children and families in need.

Hosted by Congregation Albert, this child-focused program will include music, a holiday craft, Hanukkah candle lighting, gift donation, light dessert, and fun!

Click here to register. Not in Abq? Click here.

Abq Jew would like to point out that Big Tent Judaism and Fifth Night are
  • Non-denominational
  • Trans-denominational
  • Post-denominational
You know - it's for Jews and those who love 'em.

Put on your yarmulke!
It's time to celebrate Chanukah!

No comments: