Model For Discussion


I have been reading with great interest the discussions between advocates of independent minyanim and the establishment synagogues (“Minyans, Synagogues In New Dynamic,” April 30).

As a “millennial” who was raised with very little Judaism in the former Soviet Union, I have found my spiritual home at the Manhattan Jewish Experience’s (MJE) Beginners Minyan, an independent minyan that meets in an established synagogue, The Jewish Center. Founded and led by my teacher, Rabbi Mark Wildes, the MJE Minyan serves as a great model for this discussion because on one hand it’s a warm, open, no-membership-necessary type of service, and on the other hand it is hosted by an established synagogue so people like me can take part in the larger community if we so choose.

With over 100 participants each week, the minyan has drawn in many Jews who, like myself, had very little affiliation growing up. I realize that whereas MJE’s core mission is to attract unaffiliated Jews, there is no reason why more independent minyanim can’t do this, and as MJE has shown, still work together with more established synagogues.