For those with a voracious appetite for alternative voices in the Jewish world, here are a number of deliciously different resources for a variety of tastes:
Jewish Reconstructionist Communities (including the Little Minyan Kehilla) support Reconstructionist Judaism’s website filled with a variety of resources based on the values, beliefs and history of Reconstructionist Judaism, including divrei Torah and teachings, tikkun olam projects, lesson plans, congregational best practices, and holiday resources created by members of Reconstructionist communities.
ALEPH – Alliance for Jewish Renewal – ALEPH supports and grows the worldwide movement for Jewish renewal by organizing and nurturing communities, developing leadership, creating liturgical and scholarly resources, and working for social and environmental justice. ALEPH has attracted and energized thousands of seekers returning to Judaism, including many whose journey has led them through other spiritual traditions. Members of the Little Minyan have participated in ALEPH programming and our Spiritual Leader, Jessica K. Shimberg, is a rabbinic student in the ALEPH Smicha/ordination program.
Keshet – Keshet is a national grassroots organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews in Jewish life. Led and supported by LGBT Jews and straight allies, Keshet strives to cultivate the spirit and practice of inclusion in all parts of the Jewish community.
Ritualwell – Ritual is a sacred way to mark the signposts along one’s journey. Carefully chosen words and actions can transform people and shape our experiences of the world. We appreciate the power of traditional Jewish ritual, while also being committed to innovation. Contemporary life is rich in moments for which we have no traditional ritual or prayer. Ritualwell.org is a resource to both find and share ways to make the tradition speak—or sing—even in circumstances that our ancestors couldn’t have imagined.
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center – a 400-acre sanctuary in the Berkshires where Jews of incredibly varied beliefs and backgrounds gather for a variety of reasons and leave transformed in remarkably personal ways. For people of all ages, interests, and backgrounds.
Judaism Unbound – Judaism Unbound produces a once-a-week podcast that The Little Minyan Kehilla has been using as a jumping-off point for conversations (a book club of sorts) our community has been having for many years … how to renew, reconstruct, reimagine, reinvigorate our communal and personal engagement with Judaism.
NeoHasid.org – Rabbi David Seidenberg has an amazing collection of tremendous resources (writings, music, teaching, artwork) on Chasidut of old and that which is being renewed each day.
Velveteen Rabbi – Rabbi Rachel Barenblat has been blogging as the Velveteen Rabbi since 2003. She has published several books, is a musmach of Reb Zalman, and her website is a rich resource.
On Sophia Street – Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan is a beloved teacher and philosopher.
A Way In – A favorite of several Little Minyan Kehilla members, A Way In shares the spiritual musings of Rabbi Yael Levy.
Tablet – A New Read on Jewish Life – Tablet is a daily online magazine of Jewish news, ideas, and culture. Launched in June 2009, it’s a project of the not-for-profit Nextbook Inc., which also produces the Nextbook Press Jewish Encounters book series. Tablet’s archive holds all the articles and features that originally appeared on the website Nextbook.org.
G-dcast.com – G-dcast – now called “Bim Bam” is animating Torah for today. Whether you slept through Sunday school, are new to Jewish learning, or want to try a new kind of Shabbat preparation, these cartoons bring Jewish stories to life.
T’ruah – formerly Rabbis for Human Rights-North America – Founded in 2002, Rabbis for Human Rights – North America (RHR-NA) is an organization of rabbis from all streams of Judaism that acts on the Jewish imperative to respect and protect the human rights of all people. Grounded in Torah and our Jewish historical experience, and guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, RHR-NA advocates for human rights in North America and Israel. In our North American work, this network of rabbis partner with a range of Jewish, interfaith, and secular organizations that share their commitment to human rights. RHR-NA partners with Rabbis for Human Rights-Israel in efforts to protect the human rights of Jews, Palestinians, and all others living in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
American Jewish World Service – American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism’s imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community.
The Jew & the Carrot – Jews, Food, & Contemporary Issues – Just what it sounds like … a blog of crunchy new ideas and reinvigorated older ones that you can really sink your teeth into (now hosted by The Forward under the name Eat, Drink & Think.
Glossary of Jewish Terms – This glossary of Jewish terms is a link from the Jewish United Fund/Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. The site says this of it’s purpose: The Glossary of Terms defines words and phrases of both Hebrew and Yiddish origin. These terms cover the range of the Jewish experience, from annual and lifetime events to ritual objects and Jewish cuisine. JUF would like to acknowledge the help and inspiration of the late Larry Fein, volunteer copyeditor of JUF News for six years on this compilation. It was always Larry’s view that sharing a common language would bring us all closer as a community. May his memory be a blessing.
Ohio Interfaith Power & Light – The mission of Ohio Interfaith Power and Light (OhIPL) is to empower a religious response to climate change and to promote energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. OhIPL focus on tangible results in religious communities – putting our faith into action – providing opportunities for networking and fellowship with people from diverse faith communities who are responding to the climate change crisis. Spiritual Leader Jessica Shimberg is a board member of OhIPL.
On Being – a spacious conversation — and an evolving media space — about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient traditions of the human spirit. The program began as an occasional series on Minnesota Public Radio in 1999, then became a monthly national program in September 2001, and launched as a weekly program titled Speaking of Faith in the summer of 2003. On Being, as the show was re-named in 2010, is now heard on hundreds of public radio stations in the U.S. and globally via Internet and podcast.
Omer Resources – Some favorite creative and meditative resources include the material produced by Rabbi Yael Levy of Mishkan Shalom and the website of Rabbi Simon Jacobson. There are always wonderful resources for every hag/holiday listed on Kol Aleph – the website of the Jewish Renewal community.
Passover Resources – A new Haggadah is available from T’ruah entitled The Other Side of the Sea. This haggadah, featuring LMK Spiritual Leader Jessica Shimberg among many rabbinic leaders, is designed to focus seder participants on the work being done to eradicate modern-day slavery and the ways in which there is still a sea to cross in the journey toward freedom.