A Place To Call Home
by Avram / MNHTN
I recently read Radical Judaism by Rabbi Arthur Green. It not only shaped my perception of God, but raised awareness of the duties we are called upon to pursue. Though everyone’s missions are different, where I believe our duties lie as a collective conscious comes the realization that everything animate and inanimate is one. Rabbi Green discusses how to be a Jew in today’s society. Finding God’s image in humanity is crucial today. Rabbi Green said that to end suffering you must encounter every human as one that embodies the divine presence. Therefore, we should seek unity in everything and it’s these very beliefs that lead me to Base Hillel, an organization I affiliate with.
As Jews we have an ongoing mission. We suffered, sought redemption, and have the ability to understand and appreciate leisure. Base Hillel
demonstrates how to be Jewish in today’s world with open doors and a strong will to help all people. Their mission is to bring young Jews together and foster meaningful relationships. My Rabbi, Sara Zacharia, invited me to check out their community as I was searching for one of my own. I felt that their values were one’s I believed in.
Rabbi Green states that Jews are in jeopardy today for not reaching outside of the norms of Jewish life. He states the importance of calling in outsiders and how fear of assimilation actually causes us to be in more danger. He stresses a more flexible Judaism, one that branches out to everyone. Base has a way of doing so and is obviously portrayed by the beautiful Judy Chicago painting hanging above the mantel. Base truly is aware of all people. They seek not to separate themselves from anything, but to be active members of society. This is an important aspect of Judaism. Base Hillel opens doors not only to Jews, but to anyone who wants to be a part of the ongoing mission to help the world and they’ve opened their doors to me.
Base is filled with many activities for young Jews who need to find their calling. With Torah Tuesdays, cooking for the homeless, support spaces, Shabbat dinners, lunches and more, they create ways to bring Jews together to create good. During Base support groups, I’m surrounded by others with long struggling journeys. From gays and lesbians, to different religions and ethnicities, everyone comes to Base as a source of comfort. I share this comfort with other members who are the most unique people I’ve ever met.
A place to call home - that’s Base. It feels good to know I’m always welcomed. I’m on a long journey of my own converting to Judaism. It’s sadly not that easy to find an open door with an open mind. The Base community is beautiful. Searching for a place where I felt safe with my feelings and opinions took a long time. Radical Judaism and Base provided me with a platform of comfortability I found within myself and my process.
Base is the kind of community that will save the future generations of Jews by working to unify all and fearing nothing. A place that participates in marches for human rights, has active involvement with homeless shelters, runs support groups, Shabbat dinners, Torah discussions, and a place that is open to all people and religions is a place I want to be. The famous, “Where are you?” is evident as much today as it always has been. We are partners with God. As we work with Him/Her, we are rewarded with love, peace, and harmony that has actual potential to create positive change in this world. Base always has a way of showing me that I can do more and how doing more is rewarding. Treating everything as one is the only way to unify the world.
Maggi Feldman, a student at The Fashion Institute of Technology, attends Base DWTN and is currently pursuing conversion.