Jewish life is evolving.
As the world rapidly changes, so do the diverse needs, interests, and values of modern Jews. Consequently, groundbreaking social entrepreneurs have taken on the mantle of widening the tent of Jewish life, offering new and unique approaches to meeting the spiritual and social needs of today’s community. They draw on our tradition’s intrinsic ability to shape contemporary expressions of Judaism’s enduring values.
In this new paradigm, LGBTQ Jews find belonging, Spanish-speaking Central and South Americans can engage in programming tailored for them, and the intellectually curious can steep themselves in Jewish text and tradition that nurtures their modern worldviews.
To make their greatest impact, these organizations partner with UpStart, a lab, launchpad, and support system for our community’s bravest leaders and boldest ideas. UpStart’s Accelerator program fuels promising entrepreneurial organizations with the tools, wisdom, and support they need to thrive and endure. As the latest cohort of graduates completes the Accelerator this June, we celebrate their work and impact in Jewish communities all around the world.
Mishkan Chicago is a spiritual community reclaiming Judaism’s inspiring and transformative essence. Not bound by a particular location, they meet for soulful musical prayer, learning, and holidays in homes, event venues, and religiously unconventional spaces all around the city, bringing spirit, song, and celebration to places without a Jewish institutional presence.
Recently, they have designed the Community of Mutuality, a composition of small groups led by lay leaders that enables each community member to belong and feel spiritually nourished in an intimate setting. “Forming relationships through shared interest, neighborhood, or demographic is what Jewish communities have been doing for thousands of years,” says Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, Mishkan Chicago’s founder.
Mishkan Chicago has grown from a living room minyan of mostly young-adults to a multigenerational community of spiritual seekers of every age, identity, and background. Their High Holiday services are some of the biggest draws for the local Jewish community. This year they will launch a pre-High Holidays prep series that will enable people all over the world to take the inner journey of the holidays.
Want to support their work? Attend their High Holiday services or sign up for the pre-High Holiday series online. To support inspired, down-to-earth Judaism locally and more broadly, please support Mishkan Chicago by clicking here.