The Open Yad Project: Young Adults of Kol Ami

About Us!

We are a startup project of Jewish and Jew-curious folks in our 20s, 30s, and 40s building Jewish community in West Hollywood, Hollywood, and the East Side of LA. We believe that Judaism can help make our lives meaningful in the contemporary world, and we aim to create opportunities to share and experience that meaning through communal gatherings, spiritual exploration, and social justice.

 

Whether you’re Jewish or just Jew-“ish;” whether you know a lot about Judaism, or want to explore the unknown; we want to extend a hand of welcome and community to you. In fact, it’s in our very name! "Yad" means hand in Hebrew, and so an “open hand,” an “open yad” represents our mission to reach out to folks in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who may not be currently involved in Jewish life, but who are seeking a chance to learn, connect, or explore the wisdom and spirituality of Judaism. That open hand also reflects our commitment to building that Jewish community within an inclusive and progressive environment.

 

The Open Yad Project is a program of Congregation Kol Ami, and we’d love to hear from you! Read more about our pilot programs below, sign up for The Open Yad Project newsletter, or reach out directly today!

 

Our Pilot Programs

As a startup community, we are in development and expansion mode for our programs! We strive to craft experiences that offer chances to build relationships and community, and to learn and explore Judaism. We aspire to meet people where they are -- not just spiritually or ideologically, but physically too, and we plan to be hosting chances to learn and gather in parks and community members’ homes in West Hollywood, Hollywood and throughout the East Side.

 

Make sure to check our Facebook page or the Kol Ami calendar for up-to-date event information. The following programs describe the current plans and pilots that we’re working on, but we want to hear from you! We want this project to grow through the creativity and inspiration of our community members, so please reach out if you have an idea for a location we could use or an event you’d like to see us work on.

 

Monthly Havdalah Experience

On the Second Saturday of each month, we gather to mark the end of Shabbat, the Sabbath day, on Saturday evening. Havdalah means “separation,” and the ritual helps to mark the passage of time from the end of one week, to the beginning of the next. These gatherings offer us a chance for a spiritual reset -- a breath of fresh air for our spirits, and a chance to strengthen each other as we enter the week ahead.

We expect the details for these programs to vary from month to month, so make sure to check Facebook or our website for up-to-date event information! But we hope each monthly Havdalah program will be social, experiential, spiritual.

Social: we want to create chances to meet new people! We hope that our open hands will extend to new folks, Jewish or not, and will allow us to build our community intentionally and organically

Experiential: we want to use this time to create a shared experience, doing something together. Whether through a communal meal, a hike, or a workshop, our monthly Havdalah is meant to facilitate a shared experience

Spiritual: we plan to use the ritual of Havdalah to create moments a moment for a spiritual “reset.” Using all five of our senses, Havdalah will create a chance for us to raise our voices in song and clear our spiritual palate for the week ahead.


 

Pop-up Learning Opportunities

We hope to create chances to learn and study together, bridging the ancient wisdom of Judaism and Jewish texts with the challenges and topics of the contemporary world. Our pop-up learning opportunities will be designed to create chances to “pop-in” for a quick bite of spiritual nourishment at cafes or parks, as well as to create more substantive conversations around the values that Jewish holy texts can still offer to us today. Suggestions for a learning topic, or pop-up study group location? Be in touch!

 

Let’s Get Physical!

We hope to help facilitate chances for physical activity, whether it’s dodgeball, kickball, frisbee, or anything else! Judaism honors our need for physical wellness, and recognizes that it goes hand in hand with our spiritual searching. Suggestions for hikes, or leagues to join? Be in touch!

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