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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Looking for Collaborators: Itza Mitzva

I mentioned here that I was awarded a $2,000 grant for Itza Mitzva . Itza is a liberal mitzvah study group that Rabbi Z and I lead at the Fixx Coffee Bar once a month (taking summers off like civilized folks). The idea is that young adults in the Reform movement want some serious Jewish learning, but don’t want to have to go to Chabad for it.

I’m not knocking Chabad here, but the goal was to provide an alternative within our congregation. So once a month for the last two years, we’ve gotten together and talked about many different mitzvot including Kaddish, Passover rituals, Shabbat, relationship to Israel, general Prayer, keeping kosher and this Wednesday we’ll be talking about fast days.

After two years and being a participant in ROI120 , I was eligible for a CLI/ROI grant which I got. I now have a check in my hands that will help pay for logo design (I’m lookin’ at you Mamma’s Boy), web stuff (I’m lookin’ at you, Abitbol) and writing the curriculum.

I’m looking at you gentle readers.

Why do I need an army of collaborators? Because my goal is to turn this into a national program. To provide the info so that people can gather in coffee shops across the country and talk mitzvot with or without a rabbi.

What do I need from you?

I figure that most liberal Jews have one mitzva they are particularly enamored with be it going to mikvah (cough, Jendais, cough), lighting shabbat candles, keeping kosher for passover, saying the shema (cough, Mark, cough) or some other beautiful mitzva in our tradition. Instead of having one person write the entire thing, I want a bunch of people to contribute.

What would you do?

1. Pick a mitzva to research and write the one sheeter for (front and back of one page)

2. Find the place in the Torah or Talmud where the mitzvah originates.

3. If there is a mishna or story about the mitzva, add that too.

4. Gather some ways this mitzva is observed from very traditionally to loosely.

5. Find some liberal commentary on the mitzva.

6. Create 4-5 questions that could be used to lead a discussion on the mitzva.

If you want to get involved leave a comment or send me an email. Did I mention that I can pay you a small something for this? I think I have a budget for $20 a mitzva. I know it is just a token, but if you pick a mitzva you already know and love, this could be a short cool project for you.

What do you say? Want to be a part of Itza Mitzva?

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