(From Rosh Hashana 5771/fall 2010)
In the year and a half since its founding, Makom has come a long way, from a few conversations about the possibility of creating a new downtown Jewish community to an active, innovative, and diverse Jewish community that has brought new Jewish life and spirituality into a beautiful, historic synagogue, as well as into hundreds of Jews’ lives.
Makom currently has more than 750 individuals on our e-mail list (if you’re not on it and would like to be, Email us!), nearly 300 members of our Facebook group, and nearly 150 people following Makom on Twitter. Our community has come together for 40 bi-weekly, soulful Friday night services and 50 arts, learning, and social and environmental activism programs. Yes, that’s nearly 100 events in just a year and a half and with minimal resources!
Makom’s positive effects radiate beyond our actual programs. We are a leader in the revitalization of downtown Jewish life and were a key partner in launching the Downtown Tikkun Leil Shavuot that attracted more than 300 people. Makom has become a hub for convening the people, ideas, and actions to change the landscape of downtown Toronto’s Jewish life and its possibilities.
As Makom scales up from a fledging organization with a shoestring budget, entirely volunteer-run, to a financially-sustainable organization with the staffing and resources to meet the needs of our growing community, we’re looking for your support!
We still need to raise $25,000 in order to meet our budget for 2010. Please make a generous tax-deductible donation to Makom and give back to your creative, downtown Jewish community.
Visit our “Donate” page for information on how you can help.
As always, we invite you to share your ideas, critiques, and aspirations for Makom with us. Based on the success of our first community conversation last month, we will convene an expanded series of facilitated discussions to solicit the input of a broader base of our community in envisioning the future of Makom. Look for those later in the fall.
As we enter a new year and forge ahead in co-creating our community’s exciting future enmeshed in the old spaces of Jewish tradition and downtown Toronto, I am reminded of a phrase Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine, wrote in a letter in 1910. He envisioned a world in which “Ha-yashan yithadeish ve-he-hadash yitkadeish” – “The old becomes new and the new becomes holy.”
We’re looking forward to celebrating the fall Jewish holidays as a community in so many creative and meaningful ways together with you. See below and the sidebar for details.