Kehilat Oro Shel Adam is in the process of building a real community by the means of Garin Torani (a nucleus of families who are at the core of a Jewish community in Israel).
See Garin Adam Flyer Below
After a few years involving lock-downs and quarentines, a time when real-life community has struggled, its important for us to refresh our understanding what community is.
At a basic level, community expert David Gurteen defines community like this: (https://conversational-leadership.net/community/)
A community is a group of people who share something in common.
The full concept of community, however, has several dimensions of meaning. Each aspect needs to be in place for a community to be considered what I would call a real community.
Gurteen claims a real community is a group of people who:
- Share something in common
A community could be where you live (your local neighborhood), a religion (Jewish community); a culture (Olim community); a common past (a shared high school); a profession (the scientific community), or more broadly – the international community, business community or financial community.
- Care about what they have in common
Just because a person shares something in common with someone else does not mean they care about it. To be part of a real community, you need to care about what it is you have in common.
- Care about each other
To be in a real community, not only do you need to care about the community, but you also need to care about and respect each other. You need to be loyal to one another and build healthy relationships.
Not many communities genuinely have this characteristic.
Jewish community centers (JCCs) are a place that people gather to work out and do activities, but I doubt whether the people who frequent them know or care that much for each other. True Jewish communities, on the other hand, many times have the characteristic of sincerely caring for eachother because of the Torah commandmant to “love thy fellow as yourself.” Many of the the practical Torah commandments lead to natural sensitivity and a giving mentality which create genuine relationships.
In business, a community of practice meets the interaction criteria, but people don’t necessarily care for each other.
A social club might be an excellent example; however, of a community that does care.
- Interact regularly
You can share something in common that you care about, and you can care about each other, but if you don’t frequently interact with each other, you are not in a real community.
The scientific community or a local community are examples where not everybody in those communities interacts. Religious Jewish communities are natural places to build real-communities because Jews frequently come together for in-person gatherings at shul for minyan, Torah learning, community events and holiday celebrations.
- Are passionate about a common purpose
To be in a real community, you need to be doing something together that is worth doing and makes belonging to that community matter. You need to be passionate about the purpose. (The community needs to have a purpose.)
- Have shared core values
Although not everyone’s values will ever be the same, nor is it a good thing that they are the same, it helps if many of the communities’ core values are shared. It is assumed that a religious Jewish community has members who care about hundreds of shared values.
- Care about the community as a whole
Although someone may be part of say a local community in that they live in a particular locale, if they do not care about that community or do not interact in any way with their neighbors, they cannot be said to be part of that community.
You need to take an active social role in building and sustaining the community to which you belong.
- Spirit in Community
We also talk about being in community and having a sense of community or community spirit. This is what it means to be in a genuine community — a feeling of belonging, of togetherness.
You can be a member of a community in that you share some things in common but fail to be in community because you just do not care or lack community spirit.
So revising David Gurteen’s definition of a real-community:
A community is a group of people who 1. share things in common, 2. care deeply about each other, and 3. work closely together towards a common purpose about which they care.
At Oro Shel Adam, our mission and passion is to build a real-community.
For more information about Oro Shel Adam and our Garin Torani contact Rav Shalom Miller at rav.miller@orosheladam. See Flyer-