One of the first ideas which came to David and me as we began preparing to take on the role of co-chairs of ALEPH (see A new chapter in my life with Jewish Renewal) was a listening tour.
We want to spend our first year as co-chairs doing a lot of listening: to people who are a part of ALEPH now; to people who have been part of ALEPH far longer than we have; to people who were part of ALEPH but have moved into other circles; to people who are not yet part of ALEPH but are nevertheless doing the work of renewing Judaism and who might become part of our extended hevre (fellowship) in time.
We've developed some big questions which we hope will guide and inform the coming year. Among them are: What do you most cherish about Renewal that you hope the future will carry forward? What would you jettison or change? What new focus would you recommend in coming years? How can we cultivate a shared pan-Renewal "ecosystem" for continued spiritual and organizational innovation?
We're going to be listening, and cultivating responses, in a variety of ways: collecting stories and hopes asynchronously (which is to say: you can send us your reflections and your answers to our big questions in your own time, in written form), scheduling video chats with people who want to talk about Jewish Renewal's history and its future, and meeting with people around the country at a variety of different gatherings over the year to come.
We just shared a long post -- containing information about the ALEPH / Jewish Renewal Listening Tour, our list of Big Questions, and three ways that You (Yes, You!) Can Participate -- here: A Listening Tour, Big Questions, and the Next Turning of Jewish Renewal. I hope you'll go and read... and if you have thoughts in response to our questions, I hope you'll share those with us too.