Lead’s Adam Science group recently returned from a fantastic 5 days in Boston where they met a whole host of Jewish communal professional and lay leaders. Boston’s Jewish community is a similar size diaspora community to the UK, and therefore provides a perfect prism to compare and contrast challenges faced and opportunities seized within the two communities.
Kicking off the trip with a visit to Boston’s oldest synagogue Vilna Shul, historian Ellen Smith talked and walked the group through the history of the Jewish community. They were privileged to meet with Barry Shrage, President of CJP, Boston’s Federation and Lisa Wallack, senior CJP lay leader who gave insight on Boston’s Strategic Plan, as well as Mark Sokoll, President of the JCC, who gave very topical insight into the role of JCCs in Jewish life. The group quizzed speakers on several different panels including those on formal and informal education, synagogue innovation and young adults. Other highlights of the trip included a session with Keshet on inclusivity of GLBT members, a visit to Mayyim Hayyim, Living Waters Mikveh (see here for our Boston leader Jody Comin’s blog on the visit); a trip to Gann Academy High School, attending a launch night for new initiatives by young lay leaders (PresenTense) and a tour of the Boston State House. The week ended with a wonderful Shabbat experience in Brookline, which included a warm welcome in several synagogue services, home hospitality and a picnic in the park with other young adults. The group have now returned inspired and excited to resume their Adam Science leadership journey back in the UK.