At first, I may not seem like a typical candidate for membership in an upstart shul like Hinenu. I’m 43 years old, married with two sons, and—perhaps most notably—I already belong to another shul, Reservoir Hill’s Beth Am, where I am co-chair of the Social Action Committee.
Indeed, Beth Am meets many of my family’s needs: My boys attend Hebrew School there (“The Jewish Discovery Lab”), we enjoy Shabbat morning services in the beautiful, historic sanctuary, and I’ve appreciated working with clergy and fellow members on criminal justice and immigration issues, among others.
And yet, I am here for Hinenu!
From the moment I met Rabbi Ariana Katz and the other founding members of Hinenu, I knew I had found another home—who says you can only have one?
In this home, queer Jews, Jews of color, interfaith couples and families, and non-Jews were welcomed and loved like in no other Jewish community I’ve ever known. In this home, values of equity, racial justice, and solidarity were lived, loved, and integrated into every decision we made. In this home, I found a willingness—indeed, a desire—to openly talk about Israel/Palestine and express solidarity with Palestinians in a Jewish context.
As I have watched this community come into existence over the past year, I have become more and more convinced that Hinenu is an essential addition to Jewish Baltimore. While traditional shuls locally and around the country are closing and consolidating, Hinenu represents a new kind of Jewish community, one that allows Jews of all backgrounds to be their full selves, and I am here forit.
Join us and become a member of Hinenu today. The Founding Membership Drive closes on Friday, August 3rd at sundown!
Whether you belong to another shul or not, I encourage you to become a member of Hinenu. There’s no rule that says we can only have one Jewish home—indeed, Hinenu’s bylaws explicitly encourage members to take the financial obligations of other shul memberships into account when deciding their membership level with Hinenu. So, join us and be here for Hinenu!
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