Building Block #1: Introduction to the Project
We, at Makom, believe that Israel can serve as a resource of innovative Jewish culture that can add value and texture to a congregant’s life cycle event (or LC). Once a connection to Israel has been made, we believe that clergy can validate Israel’s role as a normative part of Jewish identity and encourage congregants to value and develop a relationship with Israel the way they encourage them to value and develop other aspects of Jewish life (prayer, acts of gemilut hesed, social justice causes etc.)
Life cycle events are a ripe “site” for this work because they are the bread and butter of the work of clergy and congregations. They are the events that families “show up for”, plan and in which they invest an enormous amount of time and money. On most occasions, life cycle events are the times when congregants open themselves up to be transformed, personally and Jewishly.
Ask each participant to take a couple of minutes to think back to a LC event they attended/officiated at that was powerful. After a couple of minutes, have them share with the group, what made it powerful? Capture their responses on a flipchart.
At the end of the training we will return to this checklist when we ask ourselves how incorporating Israel within a LC could be “just as” powerful as other ideas they mentioned.