It’s an audacious idea – that a Jewish future needs to be built, or that we (or anyone) can claim the inner wisdom, the know-how, the tools, the chutzpah and even the right to do the building.
But if you’re reading this post, you’re part of that team – a growing circle of builders taking the Jewish future into your own hands. Because let’s face it: the Jewish future is in your hands.
This call to build isn’t a risk-averse negative – like shrill sirens wailing alarmist warnings of the “ever-disappearing Jew” – but rather a welcoming and realistic positive. The Jewish future will be exactly what people make it – nothing more and nothing less – so why not focus on the realities of building and builders?
That’s exactly what we aim to do. Welcome to Bayit: Your Jewish Home.
Bayit is a start-up committed to helping build a soulful, inclusive and meaningful Jewish life for all ages and stages. Partnering broadly with individuals and communities, Bayit will develop, test, refine and distribute tools for a Jewish future always under construction.
In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce Bayit and the various “rooms” of the Bayit “house.” We’ll share some “Big Thinker” design influences and big-hearted inspirations. We’ll introduce the diverse Bayit folks building behind the scenes – across generations, denominations, service contexts and skill sets. We’ll float big questions about what “works” and how we know (and whether we know!), what real design thinking is about, how wise building tools can best connect heart and head, and some initial projects that will be the foundation of Bayit.
For now, we begin with The Builders Blog.
The Builders Blog
The Builders Blog will be a go-to portal for Jewish innovation and design thought. Here we’ll develop practical tools for research and development, weaving soulful wisdom with cutting-edge design analysis.
The Builders Blog will offer practical how-to, ideas field tested and refined, candid reflections on what didn’t work and why, conversations about cultivating one’s own innovative spirit and toolkit, and wise ways to nest innovation in different kinds of communal contexts.
The Builders Blog will be our blog – and yours. We’ll welcome curated content from anyone who has a great idea or a keen observation to share about building the Jewish future.
The Builders Blog also will be a portal for Bayit’s forthcoming spiritual innovation pilot program. We’ll bring together Jewish pulpit leaders with spiritual pioneers from multiple faith traditions who offer wisdom about tools of wise building, community engagement and innovation’s flow through spiritual life. Together we’ll study, design, field test, try again and analyze results.
The Builders Blog also will offer parshanut (weekly Torah commentaries) to mine Jewish textual tradition for wisdom about the call to build. Our theme for 5779 will be just that: “The Call to Build.” What values, tools, perspectives and practices for wise building emerge from the annual Torah cycle? What can we learn about who builds, what we build, how we build and why? What can we learn about effective pragmatism and genuine research and development? What can we learn about what not to do?
We aim to partner with synagogues, churches, mosques, seminaries, colleges, think tanks, clergy and community networks, and other allies who also hear the call to build. Together we’ll cross-fertilize, refine skills and prime the collective pump of learning, doing and becoming. Building the Jewish future needs as many wise spiritual pioneers, and as much pioneering spirit, as it can get. We and you are part of that mission.
Thanks for reading and commenting. Most of all, thanks for heeding the timeless call to build whoever and wherever you are – and then picking up a hammer.
Rabbi David Markus
Illustration by Steve Silbert