Submitted by Valley Temple
After creating a meaningful Shabbat experience at a brewery and at Summit Park, Valley Temple is taking their community to an art gallery. On Friday, August 12th, Valley will be holding services at Redtree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop in Oakley, and will feature lively conversation, coffee, dessert, and a service with live music. The Wyoming-based Reform synagogue is inviting people from all over Cincinnati to come see what the community is all about, and to get to explore Judaism in new and intriguing ways.
"This summer we are putting together experiences that will get us out into the community to show people what is happening at Valley and show off a new way of engaging in Jewish life," said Valley Rabbi Educator Austin Zoot.
This project has already seen the Valley Temple host services at Listermann Brewing Company in Evanston in June and in Summit Park in Blue Ash in July.
“Our community has always taken pride in our ability to welcome anyone who wants to learn more about their connection to Judaism,” Zoot said. “We talk so often about ‘meeting people where they are,’ and this is our way of putting that into tangible terms. And for so many, we hope that this can be a chance to get a sense of Judaism, and to share it with their loved ones in safe and intentional ways.”
As social scientists continue to track the evolving ways that new generations engage with religious tradition, the Valley Temple hopes to use this event to lower the barrier of entry for those who may come from interfaith backgrounds, who are trying to find new entryways into Jewish life, or are interested in looking for ways to deepen their spiritual health. All are welcome to participate.
"Valley's greatest strength is our sense of community. A congregation our size allows us to know our members on a personal level and take care of their individual needs," Zoot said, noting that one of the most beloved assets of the sixty two year old congregation is its ability to provide an "incredibly powerful" sense of compassion.
By taking that “ruach” (“spirit”) on the road, Valley wants to share that close-knit sensibility with families looking for a Jewish experience in some spaces they already know and love.
"We are going to do that in some of the places that historically Jews haven't really thought about having a Shabbat experience. We want to bring that compassion and thoughtfulness to a brewery or an art gallery, to show how the environment can be casual and fun, but intentional and meaningful," Zoot said.