So, what is FED, and what do we stand for? For the past few months (and really the past few years, since I started hosting FED events back in August 2015), I've been reflecting on such questions.
My vision for FED is for it to be a NYC hub for creative, diverse, intellectually minded people, grounded in the Jewish values of hospitality, openness, dialogue, and inclusivity (often celebrating Shabbat, and other holidays), and open for everyone no matter their religion or any other parts of their background. The point of FED is to create synergistic connection, which, despite being constantly buried in our phones, can be hard to come by these days, especially in the face of the urban isolation, loneliness, and polarization which is real in this city.
The way FED goes about doing this is through tools such as homemade food; eclectic talks; and vibrant music, arts and culture. We also rely upon the people who come to FED to be active participants, creating natural and serendipitous connection simply by being their authentic selves. And of course I enjoy network-weaving the FED-goers as well, which could be as simple as seating people together at a FED event, or through making introductions and encouraging the match to partake in a meal together (potentially at FED House!)
FED has a calendar of events where you can come to FED and experience this for yourself. But FED is about more than one-off events: it's about community, and how creativity and authenticity can augment developing relationships with others, which can lead to the connection that I describe. To truly live out this vision, we need... you. Does open, creative Judaism in a supportive community speak to you, and is it something you would like to be part of on an ongoing basis? Do you have ideas about how to live this out--and would you like to help realize them? If so, we would love to hear from you. Looking forward to building this together!
The scene at FED