A TALE OF TWO COMMUNITIES BECOMING ONE
In early 2018, the Willesden Minyan and Shir Hayim: Hampstead Reform Jewish Community began an experiment. We began creating an intentionally intergenerational community, making meaningful Jewish experiences together.
Frienships blossomed as Shabbats and festivals were shared, as did a desire to build something more permanent together.
We eventually decided to form one community with a shared vision and values. We named ourselves Makor Hayim - 'Source of Life.'
We are building this community now, with 'Builders' (members) contributing financially and through voluntary leadership to living out the vision and values we have established together (see below).
Normally we meet 'on the Jubilee line', whether in Finchley Road, Willesden Green and Dollis Hill. For the foreseeable future, for the safety of all our Builders and wider society, all our gatherings take place online.
Learning and being in active conversation with ancient wisdom that holds, moves, informs and
Being ‘radically relational’: building a community of kindness, care and friendship; showing up for each other’s joys and struggles
Acting with justice and compassion, working towards the creation of a more loving world; acknowledging the connectedness of our fate with the fate of other communities, British society and the wider world
Creating meaningful Jewish rituals that guide and build intention: engaging intentionally and creatively with Torah & Jewish practice to inspire meaning and connection in our lives
'HERE I AM'
Believing that every one of us, Jewish or Allies, whatever our backgrounds, strengths and relationships with Judaism, has something of value to offer, and the power to make change.
WHY WE'RE BUILDING THIS COMMUNITY TOGETHER
Our community is an egalitarian Jewish community: a life-giving space of healing, meaning and hope.
In this broken world of disconnection, fear and social and environmental injustices, we can feel fearful, apathetic and powerless. We respond by building this community to show that another world is possible. Anchored by Jewish tradition, rituals and each other, we are engaged in the practice of how to be more compassionate, loving and just human beings who actively contribute to the world we want to see.
We believe that Jewish teaching and history offer us deep wells of wisdom that is alive and relevant today. By bringing this wisdom into dialogue with our own lives, we believe it can help us to remember who we are, rediscover our humanity, and challenge us to return back into the world as more just and loving people.
We affirm that engaging in Jewish ritual intentionally and creatively enables our healing in a broken world. We hold sacred space to witness each other’s joys and sorrows. By singing, praying, meditating, learning, eating, playing, celebrating and mourning together, we believe we can transform brokenness into wholeness.
We affirm each other as friends and supporters, teachers and students, challengers and seekers. We welcome each other exactly as we are - Jews and Allies, believers and sceptics. In relationship with each other, we can replenish our spiritual, emotional and physical reserves, and grow as leaders of the world we want to see.
We host regular Friday Night and Shabbat Morning services - for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, all online. We also host celebrations for many of the key Jewish festivals in uniquely intentional ways, and mark each other's joys and sorrows together.
Our activities are planned and hosted by volunteer leaders, and are made possible by people becoming paying members - 'Builders' - who contribute to the costs of our Rabbinic team, Head of Operations and year-round Jewish events.
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To learn more about Buildership, check out our Join Us Page.