Thank you to all who shared the High Holy Days with Kadima this new year. Kadima's growth has been amazing, humbling, and exciting these past two+ years. 5778 brings a new Kadima to light - one stronger, larger, and more resourced than before. One able to experiment in bringing forward a new Jewishness and new Judaism in the tradition of Kadima's founding. One with a focus on inclusion, social justice, and Jewish tradition. One with a thriving school, opportunities for adult learning, and intergenerational celebration. One that asks the greater Jewish community to stand for justice for all while challenging the Christian hegemony and anti-Jewish bigotry around us.
A shadow side of such growth, of course, is a feeling of potential estrangement - "do I belong here?" might be said of an older member who comes to events no longer recognizing most of their fellow participants. Or may just as easily be said by a newer member or potential member who is still looking for connection. In these first two years, my focus was very clear: grow Kadima. And grow we have. From 60 individual members to over 200. From 32 households to over 100. From a school of 29 young people to a school nearing 60. From a staff of two to three, in addition to our fantastic faculty. We have grown significantly in every age demographic, our geographic reach (Edmonds to Tacoma and Vashon to Kirkland), and our racial, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic diversity, and more.
As my third year begins, I am personally shifting my focus, and I invite you all to do so as well. While I will certainly not shy away from continued growth and I invite anyone who agrees with our mission to join and find sanctuary with Kadima, my goal this year is to connect internally and foster connections among members. I very much want to grow from within: meet with you, foster individual and community connection, and develop in my role as your rabbi.
You play a vital role in this project succeeding. Growth was never the end - it is a powerful means to a more connected, better networked, communally-sustained community of Jewish progressives in this region.
Let's build our power together!
---Practice hospitality: Invite other members over for a shabbat dinner, lunch, afternoon hang-out or havdallah to further connect people in your or across cohorts, demographics, or neighborhoods in the context of Jewish time. Hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests) is a primary value we hope to raise up.
---Value service: Volunteer your time to help set-up, clean-up, shop, organize, or design and lead an event. The value of avodah (work and worship) encompasses the spiritual work it takes to sustain community - from washing dishes to welcoming people as they arrive, from baking challah to facilitating community building, and from setting up the sanctuary to attending committee meetings. Look out in the coming weeks for concrete ways to sign up for a role that helps sustain Kadima in the coming year.
---Beautify and create: Help sustain our presence in Madrona Commons by building relationships with our building-mate-communities, helping sort our library, participating in building maintenance, writing thank you notes, designing banners for an upcoming rally. Hidur mitzvah (beautification of our work) is a way to bring our creativity into the tasks at hand.
---Share your gifts: Each of us are situated to bring something special to the building of our community. Ultimate frisbee, music lessons, Hebrew teaching, Talmud study; cooking, social media-ing, network-bridging, healing, and facilitating. We are full of talent and Kadima can be a place of experimentation, learning-to-lead, and sharing of our extraordinary talents. Chochmat lev (unique wisdom of heart) is celebrated and a crucial ingredient in thriving community. Share your gifts and build community.
---Support and be supported: by showing up to allow others to say kaddish, comfort mourners, make a meal for sick, drive another member home or to an event, you are helping create a community that provides these services thus fulfilling our mission of inclusivity. Meanwhile, when you are in need find sanctuary at Kadima by letting us know how we can support you.
---Feedback and appreciation: Perhaps one of the most counter-cultural things we can do to grow our Kadima culture is to boldly and vulnerably share with each other when we are and when we are not hitting the mark. Expressing our thoughts and feelings is crucial for any individual or community to grow and learn. Freely expressing our gratitude, meanwhile, fuels those who risk leadership to sustain and continue what they are doing well. The values of tochecha (providing constructive feedback) and hakarat hatov (noticing the good) allow progress to occur at a faster rate toward a greater common good. Let us be bound to one another and not withhold from one another in the coming year.
As we enter this new phase of sustaining wild growth while continuing to welcome in new people, we are revamping our program slightly to ensure reliability in scheduling and content. Meanwhile, beginning in October, I am opening office hours for members to meet with me for counseling, life-changes, Jewish advice, learning, listening, and affirmation, as well as feedback or just chatting. Please sign up here for an appointment in the coming months (https://goo.gl/JKU2SW).
We are aiming to make our schedule more regular. You can count on regular services with Kadima all year:
---1st Saturday morning Shabbat services, 10-12pm at Kadima always followed by Shabbat lunch (12-1pm) - all are welcome; gabbai (minyan organizer), torah readers and service leading welcome. If you can help us offset the cost of lunch, which will be catered monthly, please donate here.
---2nd Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat services, 7:30-9pm at Kadima always preceded by potluck dinner (6:30-7:30pm) - all are welcome
---3rd Saturday afternoon Shabbat mincha services, 1:30-3pm at Kadima always preceded by lunch (12-1pm) - all are welcome; gabbai (minyan organizer), torah readers and service leading welcome. If you can help us offset the cost of lunch, which will be catered monthly, please donate here.
---Weekly Tuesday mincha/ma'ariv (afternoon/evening service), 6-6:30pm (sharp) at Kadima followed by adult education options each week (look for notice on the website for specifics)
Additionally, learn with us regularly:
---1st Saturday Shabbat afternoon adult education AND/OR all-ages Ultimate, 1:30-3pm at Kadima come for a variety of learning opportunities announced each month
---2nd Thursday "Timely Torah" Lunch'n'Learn with Rabbi David, 12-1pm location TBA to meet for brown bag lunch, connect, and learn how Judaism relates to topics of the day. (Starts in November!)
---Weekly Tuesday evening Jewish Learning, 6:30-9pm at Kadima for a variety of series in adult education - from text to thought-provocation to skills learning. (Starts in November!)
---1st Saturday Shabbat afternoon Wrestling with Jewishness support group, 3:15-5pm at Kadima for potential converts, past converts, Jews, or allies curious about Jewishness. A group for healing, processing, and becoming. Followed by havdallah, seasonally.