Like many groups, The Little Minyan (that Could … yes, just like the Little Engine) came into being when a diverse and passionate group of people started talking about what we really valued about being a part of a Jewish community/congregation. Today, these thoughts live at the heart of our Little Minyan. In all that we do, we strive:
- To provide a spiritual home for individuals and families seeking active participation in Jewish community;
- To create meaningful experiences that connect us with the divine sparks in our daily lives and the life of our community through building a vibrant 21st century Jewish community through innovative and interactive approaches to prayer, learning, and social action;
- To foster our children’s involvement in Jewish life through intergenerational ritual, educational, and community activities that are both enjoyable and dynamic;
- To recognize that sacred time enriches our lives by sharing celebrations of Shabbat, Jewish holidays, and life cycle events in our homes and as a community;
- To engage in lifelong learning of Torah, commentaries, and Jewish history because they empower us to participate fully in the life of this Jewish community and offer a spiritual and intellectual foundation for responding to the challenges of our time;
- To make a difference in the world through tikkun olam (repairing the world), integrating personal growth with an active commitment to social justice and environmental responsibility; and
- To assume a collective responsibility to ensure that every person is valued and treated with respect by being inclusive and welcoming to people with diverse life experiences and backgrounds and using gender-neutral prayer language, egalitarian decision-making processes, and recognizing members’ participation without regard to their ability to contribute financially.
Since the very early days of our community’s formation, our connection with the Earth and how we live upon our planetary home has been central to the ethos of our kehillah/community and to the ethical practices and behaviors of our individual members. Although few members of our LMKehillah observe traditional kashrut laws, for example, many of us observe a form of eco-kashrut – a mindfulness and practice around what we eat, how it was grown and harvested and transported and sold. These concerns and standards are reflected in how we eat together as well. Our emphasis is on locally-grown, sustainably-sourced foods, farmworker rights, composting, recycling, and other environmentally-friendly practices, as well as supporting social and environmental justice activities within our local and larger communities.