Image: Logo of HaMaqom | The Place
As Ecclesiastes 3 points out so eloquently, there is a time for everything.
I began Coffee Shop Rabbi and this blog in March of 2010. I wanted to write simple explanations about Jewish life, and to correct misconceptions about Jews and Judaism. At that time, if you Googled “Talmud” the first page of citations that came up were antisemitic web sites. Thanks to changes made by Google, and an explosion of Jewish participation in the World Wide Web, that’s no longer the case. MyJewishLearning.com came into being, with articles from genuine experts, not just one rabbi. Sefaria.org came into existence, making Jewish texts available to anyone who wishes to “Ta Shma” — Come and Learn!
Over the past four years, my mission shifted: I tried to address the challenges of living in a world of what seemed like increasing darkness. What I learned was that in such a time, we Jews need community, not lone voices. I spent more time teaching classes at HaMaqom, more time on social media, and felt that here on the blog, I was mostly repeating myself.
Then came March of 2021.
HaMaqom | The Place has hired me as their new Executive Director. I will still teach Intro to the Jewish Experience on Sunday afternoons and evenings, but the bulk of my time will be spent nurturing its brilliant staff, raising funds, and representing the organization in the community.
HaMaqom | The Place creates inclusive communities through Jewish learning and practice. That is its mission statement, which is perfectly in line with my own mission, which you can read in another post, Passing the Torah. I’m going to put my heart, my soul, and my energy into building HaMaqom into a place — The Place — where Jewish friendships and connections are nurtured and from which new Jewish leadership can bloom.
I invite my readers to join me on this journey. How?
- Subscribe to the HaMaqom newletter.
- Watch for online classes that interest you. Tuition is sliding scale, and scholarships are available — all you have to do is ask.
- Have a few friends who want to study together? You could all live in the same city, or you could gather a few online friends who share an interest, or just want to study together. Check out our Kevah study groups. You provide the learners, and we will find you a teacher and get it all set up.
- Those are just a few examples. Explore the website. If your soul responds to something there, contact us and find your community of learners. If your heart moves you, if you’d like to partner with me in making this happen, donate.
I haven’t decided what to do with this blog. I suspect that its job is done. I will keep the domain name and make sure it is maintained — it is, after all, ten years of work, still useful when someone wants a quick answer to a simple question! — but I don’t expect to post new material here, unless I use it to tell you about programs at HaMaqom.
Thank you for reading, thank you for your questions, your feedback, and your encouragement. I hope at least some of you will follow me into my next chapter.
We pass the Torah from hand to handRabbi Ruth Adar, Passing the Torah
and make sure all the Jews who want can hold it:
can write it on their hearts,
speak of it in their homes,
teach it to their children,
bind it on their hands,
hold it before their eyes,
and write it – in golden letters! –
on the doorposts of their gates.