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Hineni - here I am

By Kalen Reid

I recently delivered a short D’var Torah at the most recent Hineni team meeting and wanted to share what I explored.

Hineni stands as one of the five core values of Makor Hayim. Meaning ‘here I am’ it is part of our collective commitment to the leadership of our beautiful community with the belief 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’. The Makor Hayim Hineni team is responsible for helping to welcome new Builders into the community- we do this through 1-2-1 meet-ups with new Builders where we discuss what they are interested in and how they might be able to draw on their interests to contribute to building community together.

As part of the Hineni team I really enjoy my 1-2-1 sessions and I go into them holding two values. The first being curiosity about what new Builders are passionate about. In addition to curiosity, I’m driven by a desire to get to know new Builders on a deeper level. I was particularly interested in this idea of wanting to know and understand them. I began to think about what it meant to do this on a deeper level. I found that the depth I was seeking from new relationships came from the heart. After a discussion with Rabbi Daniel about this I looked to the Sh’ma, and I was drawn to two words on the third line. Specifically, b’chol l’vav’cha meaning ‘with all you heart’. These words struck me as inherently powerful, and I questioned what these words meant to me and how I do my Hineni 1-2-1’s.

I feel that it is important to go into my 1-2-1’s with my heart open and to strive for connection with all my heart. In practice for me that looks like story sharing. Hearing from Builders and witnessing their stories and then sharing my own story from deep within me. My hope is that through this profound story sharing, a deep relationship is formed.

I invited the rest of the Hineni team to think about what it means for us to go forward with all our hearts and continue to create deep and meaningful relationships.

The Hineni team is currently looking to expand and build our capacity to support new Builders. If you think you would be able to help us in committing to the leadership of our community, please get in contact with Allison: or Angela:

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