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Read The Articles
from The Jacob Project:

Are You Ready?
Approaching the Jacob Project

Becoming Engaged:
Approaching Rosh Chodesh

What's Possible?
Approaching Shabbat

What Moves You?
Approaching Social Action

What's Missing?
Approaching Yom Kippur

Are We There Yet?
Approaching Sukkot

Meaningful Media:
Approaching Torah

Lands of Milk and Honey:
A Jewish Approach
to Thanks...giving

Celebrating Our Year Together

Our Movement's Principles:
Approaching Reform

Chosen for What?
Approaching Passover

God, Science, and
Living with Uncertainty

It's Your Choice:
Approaching Shavuot
What's The Jacob Project?

The Jacob Project is an opportunity for Micah members in their 20s and 30s to experience the cycle of one Jewish year together, through a series of discussions and celebrations.

It’s an opportunity to learn from each other in an un-intimidating environment; to figure out how Jewish life can be relevant and meaningful to people our age; to have fun; to experiment; to build friendships and community; to think about how we would raise our kids; and to celebrate holidays and special occasions together in creative ways.

Spring 2006 Schedule

Sunday, March 26 at 4:00pm
Chosen For What?
Approaching Passover
Discussion in the Chapel or Micah Patio

Thursday, April 20 at 7:15pm
God, Science, & Living with Uncertainty:
Approaching Yom HaShoah
Discussion in the Chapel or Micah Patio

Sunday, April 30 at 1:15pm
Approaching Israel
Bring your curiosity plus a brown bag lunch!
In the Micah Chapel

Wednesday, May 24 at 7:15pm
It's Your Choice - Approaching Shavuot
Our culminating discussion - don't miss it!
In the Chapel or Micah Patio

Saturday, June 3 at dawn
Shavuot Sunrise Hike:
Reflecting on our Year
At Radnor Lake

Please bring one can of food to each gathering, for the food bank.

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Where Do We Meet?
What Types of Discussions
And Celebrations Are Planned?

We’ll meet outdoors on the Micah patio, at Radnor Lake, in the Micah sukkah, in the chapel, in the sanctuary… Typically, the discussions will be about whichever holiday is coming up, why it exists, its relevance to our modern lives, and how we might celebrate the holiday in a way that would feel meaningful to our generation.  The celebrations will be based on what emerges out of our discussions.  The possibilities are truly endless…and they are in your hands!

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Discussion Topics
(Full Outlines Available upon Request)

(Initial Gathering)

Do you know your Hebrew name? Are you "Jewish" in name only? What did your Jewish year look like last year? How do we go from using our "Jewishness" as something-we-all-have-in-common-and-that's-it to something that is meaningful in our lives? The purpose of The Jacob Project is to figure out how and to emerge as a community.

"Chosen for What?"
(Approaching Passover)

Does freedom/wealth come with responsibility? The USA is a free, powerful, and wealthy nation--do we have an obligation to help nations less fortunate? Who says so? The idea of having been freed for a purpose. "Sins of omission" (having the ability to help but not recognizing it) and "standing idle" (having the ability to help but choosing not to) are discouraged in our religion.

"New Beginnings"
(Approaching Rosh Chodesh)

Where have you felt the most "Jewish"? At home or as an outsider? Is it necessary to leave home/start a family in order to become engaged in Jewish life? Do you engage because you leave home/have kids? The theme of renewal, becoming engaged, and moving from darkness to light (again, the purpose of The Jacob Project).

"What Moves You?"
(Discussion when no holiday is approaching.)

Why is Social Action the aspect of Judaism that resonates most with people our age? Generation X has been labeled as "slackers". We are the "whatever" generation. Does our generation have a particular need for drama or purpose or something that moves us?

"What's Missing?"
(Approaching Yom Kippur)

"Sins of omission" -- reflecting on what our role should be in the world and what we might be neglecting to be and to do.

"Science, God, and Living with Uncertainty"
(Approaching Yom Hashoah)

The difficulty in believing in God. "The God Particle" -- this simple concept in modern physics demonstrates how people react differently when faced with incomplete information. In a world where everybody lived "Jewishly," would there emerge evildoers? Even if so, would we "stand idle"?

"What's Possible"
(Approaching Shabbat)

The theme of losses, voids, and creating space. Ends with a silent meditation in the darkened sanctuary, and then music.

"Meaningful Media"
(Approaching Simchat Torah)

Which books have been most influential in your life? What made them memorable and meaningful? Were they simple stories with clear-cut heroes, morals, and interpretations? Stories with happy endings? Stories you could identify with? Fiction? Non-fiction? An approach to reading Torah, as we begin reading together.

"Lands of Milk and Honey"
(A Jewish Approach to Thanksgiving)

What does our religion's emphasis on being a "stranger in a strange land" encourage in us, in our society, and in our behavior? Why is it important for Jews born in the promised land to remember they were slaves in Egypt? Is it important for modern-day Americans to remember the immigrant experience? Is remembering the same as giving thanks? We are told in the Torah to do both.

"Are We There Yet?"
(Sukkot discussion over a meal
in the temple sukkah)

Our journey toward freedom. Are people who aren't enslaved necessarily free? Are people living in poverty free, even though they are born in a free country? Is a society that's not at war, at peace? Is a relationship good simply because there is no fighting? The concept of shalom--wholeness--and the celebration of the journey towards it.

"Approaching Israel - An Exploration"
Enhance your understanding of how Israel came to be, and what the future might hold, amid a backdrop of visual images and personal impressions from those who've journeyed there recently. Bring your curiosity, and a brown bag lunch!

"It's Your Choice"
(Approaching Shavuot, the culmination
of The Jacob Project)

Discussion takes place at the end of a sunrise hike. Why choose to live "Jewishly"? We'll touch on highlights from several previous discussions: Does freedom/wealth come with responsibility? Is peace simply the absence of war? Does science have all the answers you'll ever need? The difference between purely secular responses to these questions and "Jewish" responses raises yet another question: What kind of world do you want to live in? It's your choice.

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Why Is It Called The Jacob Project?

In the Torah, Jacob starts out living not-so-Jewishly.  Then one night, he finds himself wrestling with an ambiguous creature and emerges in the end, changed by the experience.  At this point, he is given a new name, Israel, and goes on to father the ‘children of Israel,’ the Jewish people.  We will spend this year wrestling with how to make Judaism our own.  What was meaningful to earlier generations may differ from what’s meaningful to ours, so there is a lot for us to figure out together.  Our hope is that in the end we’ll emerge--like Jacob--changed by our experience, a community that enjoys “living Jewish,” and capable of passing on what we’ve discovered to future generations.

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Yih'yu l'ratzon imrei fi v'hegyon libi l'fanecha Adonai tzuri v'goali.

© 2006 The Jacob Project. All Rights Reserved.
No unauthorized duplication of any content allowed.