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November 22, 2012 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-11-22

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Working our way

friendship that she dreamed of
her neighborhood being a Jewish
community. When she first told me
this, I cringed, imagining her working-
class neighbors steadily replaced by
eager young white Jews like myself,
replicating the cycles of injustice I
yearned to ameliorate. But Chava's
vision was not to be so oversimplified,
and through her and her neighborhood,
which she auspiciously named Eden
Gardens, I've begun to understand that
a different kind of Jewish community is
possible.
As Chava and I realized our shared
passion for community, Judaism
and food, we sought a grant from
the Jewish Women's Foundation of
Metropolitan Detroit through the
Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
to start a faith-based farm in Eden
Gardens with the express purpose
of growing relationships between
two communities, her neighborhood
(predominantly African-American)
and our shul. Chava and I saw this
work as one small effort to repair
relationships long ago abandoned in
our region.
Faith is a part of our work not
only because of our own Jewish
identities, but also because we see
faith and spirituality playing a big role
in convening difficult dialogues, in

foundation professionals and
organizational leaders annually.
Readers use Slingshot to identify
the most inspiring and trail-
blazing organizations, projects and
programs in the North American
Jewish community today.
Slingshot organizations are
selected from among hundreds of
nominees based on their strength
in four areas: innovation, impact,
leadership and organizational
efficiency. CommunityNEXT was
chosen for the first time this year
by an independent panel of 48
foundation professionals from
across North America.
"Slingshot is a celebration of
those Jewish organizations and
projects successfully breathing
new energy into Jewish life," said
Julie Finkelstein, program director
of Slingshot. The guide highlights
both newly formed organizations
and innovative projects happening
at established Jewish institutions,
all making an impact by meeting
the changing needs of today's
Jewish community."



creating safe spaces and in growing
our souls as we grow our food.
As Chava and I broke ground in
the garden this fall, with a steady
group of neighborhood residents and
synagogue goers at our side, we were
overjoyed to observe and participate
in the growing of relationships from
the ground up. And, as we begin the
process of gathering together this
winter to discuss spring plans, we feel
certain that we'll simultaneously be
feasting on great food and the deep
bonds that become possible when we
share.
Chava and I are traveling out east
to this year's Hazon food conference,
where (thanks to a local funder) a
group of Metro Detroiters are going
to spend four days listening, learning
and conversing about food, Judaism
and place.
For Chava and me, our place is
Eden Gardens. I couldn't feel more
blessed or more radically rooted,
alive and Jewish than I do because
I have the opportunity to be a part
of a community that challenges
and informs my notions of what is
possible. ❑

II

BACK TO YOU

Returning to Detroit for four weeks.

JE

The to

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This story first appeared in the
Jew and the Carrot bloq on the
forward.com website.

Detroit Nation, the national
community of Detroit expats, is excited
to announce (Re)Discover the D on
Saturday, Nov. 24. This daylong event
targets those who
(Re)Discover
will be home in the
The
Detroit area for the
Thanksgiving holiday
as well as those who
are in the area who
want to experience the new happenings
in Detroit.
This is the perfect way for you to catch
up on all the amazing developments, trends
and positive movements that are making
the city you love even better. The event starts
at the D:Hive welcome center located in
the heart of Downtown Detroit and ends at
the Madison, the center of the city's tech-
movement.
The $50 ticket price includes
continental breakfast, a bus tour and
lunch with a panel discussion with Detroit
community leaders. Tickets are available
through the Detroit Nation website:
www.detroitnation.org . If you have
any questions, or for more information,
contact Meg@DetroitNation.org .

Frank

Tonr Grammy ® and Olivier Awards
of"
111
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Detroit Nation
Announces
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November 22 • 2012

35

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