Here’s our mission statement:
Bayit is building a soulful, inclusive and meaningful Jewish life for all ages and stages. Partnering broadly with individuals and communities, Bayit develops, tests, refines and distributes tools for a Jewish future always under construction.
And here’s our vision:
Bayit’s root metaphor is building, from Talmud (Berakhot 64a):
“Students of the wise increase shalom (peace, completeness) in the world, as it is said (Isaiah 54:13): ‘[Thus,] all your children will be taught of God.’ Don’t read it as ‘your children’ (banayich) but as ‘your builders’ (bonayich).”
Everyone in Jewish life can be a builder. A living Judaism – building one’s own home in Jewish life – naturally builds Judaism for oneself, others and the future. Hands-on building is the call of Jewish history, and the call of the Jewish future.
This kind of Judaism naturally offers rooms and building tools for all, without exception. This kind of Judaism is passionately egalitarian. This kind of Judaism draws from and flows through all streams of Jewish life.
This kind of Judaism craves experience and meaning more than dogma. This kind of Judaism fuses ancient designs (text, personal and communal prayer, social justice, rhythms of Jewish time) with modern tools, structures and systems.
Building this kind of Judaism always must be a work in progress, always leaning forward, always “under construction.” Judaism always has been and must be a wise and playful “remixing” of tradition with innovation – what’s been and what’s coming next.
This kind of Judaism uses design tools of research and development. Effective builders must courageously try, measure, tweak and try again – mindful of both subjective experience and best practices, historical trends and modern demography.
Judaism (like spiritual life writ large) must be inwardly real. People know what inspires and what alienates, what’s self-reflectively honest and what’s tone-deaf (or worse). Together we can build a Judaism that is compassionate, authentic, and a spiritual home for all.