Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

While it may sound strange coming from a rabbi, now that I work outside the Jewish community it sometimes feels as though that is the community I am least a part of, certainly on a day-to-day basis. And my community, my religious community, is the one I most want to deepen my connection with.

I have found community this year in the following places:

  • My synagogue’s caring community knitting group. Once a month I gather with other women from the congregation as we knit healing shawls.
  • In an on-line and teleconference group with rabbinic colleagues that focuses on self-care and Torah.

And I have continued to be a part of other groups in the Jewish world:

  • When I began hospice work, I also became a volunteer mikvah guide. It was important to me to do something spiritual and life-focused to balance the spiritual end-of-life focused work I do every day. Mikvah guiding puts me in a quiet, peaceful, sacred space where I am blessed to have one-on-one interactions with people. It connects me with my tradition in a deep, mystical manner.
  • I meet monthly with a small group of colleagues in a spiritual direction group. Here I am helped to focus on my relationship with God and reminded of God’s presence in my life and my work.

Sometimes the greatest challenge I find in being part of a community is just getting out of my home to be a part of a community. Some days I just want to quietly recharge with family, books, and hobbies and be apart from my communities. In the year to come, I plan to continue the things I am doing, but also connect with my colleagues at a few more in-person meetings and conferences, and deepen my connection with the synagogue. I also plan to continue my involvement with the quilting and art communities I am a part of, both those I have been in for many years and those that are more recent.


About wallcough

Trying to find beauty and joy in the world around me . I am many things, among them a quilter, a knitter, and an incessant reader. There is not enough time for them all, so I jump in between them as the mood hits me. Professionally - a rabbi; a hospice chaplain.
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