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The Church Basement Roadshow

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On Saturday, after we groggily got up in the RV and packed everything up in Santa Monica, we drove into LA and lunched with our friends at IKAR Synagogue. Sharon Brous, the rabbi at IKAR (and interviewed by Krista Tippett here) is a friend whom Doug and I met a couple years ago at an innovative gathering convened by Synagogue 3000.
IKAR is generally recognized to be among the most innovative (aka, “emergent”) versions of American Judaism, and like emergent churches, is a beautiful admixture of paradoxical elements: a conservative synagogue, meeting in a community center, with a woman rabbi, and with a great emphasis on social justice.
I sat at lunch with long-time friends Shawn Landres and Josh Avedon, who have recently moved on from Synagogue 3000 to found their own organization, Jumpstart (the website is, for now, just a placeholder). Their mission is to “develop, strengthen, and learn from emerging Jewish organizations that build community at the nexus of spirituality, learning, social activism, and culture.” In other words, to help emerge American Judaism into what it will be next.
We had a great lunch conversation about our respective ministries and passions, and Josh and Shawn even came to see the show that night in Granada Hills! (We’ll see them again in Seattle, where they will be for a meeting.)
After lunch, they loaded us up with leftovers of humus, veggies, falafel, and rice, which we’ve been eating in the RV ever since.
Thanks to everyone at IKAR for your hospitality.

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