Happy (secular) new year, all! I hope everyone had as delightful and restorative a New Year's weekend as I did.
Here's a neat way to start the year (at least, for me) -- the premiere of a new series of interviews in Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture. I get to have conversations with interesting people who are doing valuable, thought-provoking work, and then I get to shine them up for publication; what's not to like? We hope to run one of these every other month, so look for the next one in March; meanwhile, the first one has gone live.
The piece is a profile of Ari Weller, the executive director of the new Elat Chayyim. Here's a teaser:
Picture the executive director of a retreat center. Specifically, a Jewish retreat center that, depending on who you ask, is either the heart of a transdenominational revitalization of Judaism or the kind of hippy-dippy groovy place that engenders eye-rolling. You're probably imagining a guy in his fifties, earnest but harried, maybe soft around the middle -- wouldn't be out-of-place at a Grateful Dead show, if there were such things anymore. Right?
Not Ari Weller...
Read the whole thing here: Ari Weller is in the happiness business. (And while you're over there, consider taking the time to read the rest of the issue -- unsurprisingly, everything in it is really good.)