Funding Our Future
Our community is ready to grow. So far we’ve done incredible things with a shoestring budget, but now we need your help to take our community to the next level.
For 10 years we have demonstrated a strong capacity to achieve much with one part-time staff member and many dedicated volunteers. With the support of our members, we have produced High Holy Days services for 300, Passover Seders for over 100, consistent community Shabbats, Purim parties, cultural salons, and a progressive education program for our kids and B’nei Mitzvah. We’ve re-invented Jewish community for people who never thought they would belong to a synagogue.
The majority of our community would be unaffiliated without Mile End Chavurah. Many have never been exposed to Jewish observance at all. Through Mile End Chavurah many have learned how to daven kabbalat Shabbat, and to deeply experience a full practice of the Days of Awe. Parents who didn’t think their kids would have Bar or Bat Mitzvah change their minds when they experience our ceremonies. MECh brings Judaism back to Jews seeking a more creative and participatory engagement with traditional rituals. We make the ancient new again and gather in the exiles.
Our brand of open, creative, progressive Judaism for all ages contributes to the diversity of Jewish Montreal. The consistently large numbers we draw for our events is proof of our success. It is heartbreaking to have to turn people away from holiday celebrations and Shabbat gatherings. But we can’t serve more people without developing our organizational capacity. Many of us wish to build programs and services that require resources and energies that are beyond the capacity of our busy volunteers.
So we’ve started re-imagining our future. Our goal is to become more of what we already are: the Jewish heartbeat of the Mile End community.
We envision our own home: a consistent space in which to gather regularly, and build a stable and sustainable community. And with more human resources, we can provide more innovative programming, and improve our outreach, so that we can connect with those who will be inspired by our inclusive, progressive values. As we expand, we want to become a hub that connects Jews across the city, bringing disconnected Jews into contact with progressive possibilities of Jewish life in Montreal. But to do this WE NEED YOUR HELP!
What your contribution will fund:
We are overflowing with ideas and ready to scale-up our ritual events, cultural programming, and Jewish education for adults and kids. All that stands between us and this expansion is human resources. We just don’t have the volunteer-hours necessary to realize our vision. So we need an experienced full-time employee as well as a number of paid contracts to enhance volunteer efforts in these areas:
- Communication and Outreach: We want our public face to mirror the energy and creativity of our community. We know that we can be a home for more Jews if they can find out about us! We will enhance our website, newsletters, and social media to attract new members as well as strengthen the connections in our existing community.
- Spiritual Leadership Development: We will build spiritual leadership by organizing leadership-learning sessions with Rabbis from Montreal, and by inviting Rabbis and lay leaders from other North American cities to help inspire our community and attract new members.
- Innovative Educational Programming: There has been great interest in our ‘cultural salons’ and ‘yeshiva nights’. We have our finger on the pulse of what attracts Plateau intellectuals and university students—but we need human resources to help us implement our innovative vision for adult education.
Finding a Home
We need a consistent place to call home. In our present situation we must look for private or commercial spaces on an event-by-event basis. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find these spaces in the Mile End. We can rent, share, or buy—but to be a centre for Jewish identity, belonging, and community, we need to procure a stable, dependable space.
With your help, we can create a vibrant, sustainable Jewish hub in Mile End that will strengthen the wider Jewish community in Montreal for decades to come.
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