What is Minyan?
Small groups, shared affinities, with the purpose of connection
How it Works
The goal of a Minyan is to help each and every person in our community to feel needed, necessary, and a part of something sacred, and we believe such community must begin in small units of connectedness.
Minyanim are loosely organized around shared affinities like an interest in food, culture or history. However, the primary purpose of each minyan is create meaningful interaction and connection among participants.
Minyanim meet on a regular basis (usually once per month). You’ll be able to provide your input on the group that works best for your schedule when you sign up.
These are the minyanim we are running this year. Please note your favorites and have several options that work for you when you sign up.
Writing as Reflection: Understanding the World and Ourselves
Wed evenings from 6-7:30: Wed, Nov. 1, Dec. 6, Jan 3, Feb. 7, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6 This Minyan will use writing, ours and others, to explore our relationship with various texts and ourselves. How does the act of writing help us connect to our conscious and unconscious thoughts? How does writing raise questions that challenges our thinking and our sense of the world? Members of the Minyan will suggest texts (books, articles, movies, art) for us to explore.
The Power of Voice: Silence, Niggunim, and Prayer
Thursdays 6:30-8:00 pm, November 9th, December 14th, January 11th, February 8th, March 8th, April 12th, May 10th, June 14th
How do we connect to the still small voice within? In this Minyan we will begin with a guided silent meditation followed by a niggun — a wordless Jewish melody — then transition into prayer with words. A discussion of the weekly Torah portion follows with a focus on how it is relevant to our lives today. One need not have a singing voice or knowledge of Hebrew to participate. Just a heart that yearns to open.
Documentaries: Exploring the Medium and the Message
Sundays from 4:00-5:30 pm Nov. 12th, January 14th, March 11th, April 15th, may 20th, June 10th
Documentary discussion, cinema connection, film friendship. The group will view documentaries in advance of the group’s gatherings and discuss the medium and message of each film during the meetings. We expect the topics to evolve to reflect the interests of the members of the group.
Wednesdays, 9:00-10:30 am Oct. 25th, Nov. 15th, Dec. 20th, Jan. 24th, Feb. 28th, March 21st, April 25th, May 23rd.
How do you “recharge” yourself? Do you consider it a spiritual renewal? Whether it comes easy to you OR you have no idea where to begin…. we will discuss and explore together different ways one can experience their own spiritual renewal and find a way that feels right for you!
Jews: Religious Pluralism Among Jews in Present Day Israel
Mondays 7:00pm: November 6th, December 4th, January 8th; February 5th; March 12th; April 9th; May 7th
Examine different groups of Jews in Israel, why are they different, what do they believe, what do they stand for? How do they show these differences in Israeli society, and how they affect politics?
Friday Night Lights
Is Shabbat relevant in 2017/2018? Is it the most innovative wellness app of all time or an anachronism? What can we learn from its tenets? Can you observe selectively? Explore the Sabbath and its meaning with others who are not “shomer Shabbat. Join us for Friday night services at CRS followed by a light supper, challah & candle lightening at a member’s home or a casual restaurant on the UWS.
Finding Joy through Prayer, Meditation & Song
Thursdays 7:00-8:30, Oct. 19th, Nov. 16th, Dec. 14th, Jan. 18th, Feb. 15th, March 15th, April 19th, May 17th
We will come together using a range of Jewish wisdom and tools to help ignite joy and connection. From text to art to stories, we will bring both Judaism and our New York lives into the heart of our Minyan and come out laughing together.
Cultivating Character Through Mussar
Sundays from 10-11:30 am. Nov. 5th, Dec. 3rd, Jan. 7th, Feb. 4th, March 4th, APril 8th, May 6th, June 3rd
We will learn and engage with some of the key principles of Mussar, a Jewish spiritual practice designed to develop character traits such as humility, gratitude, patience, honor, generosity, kindness, strength, tranquility, trust, enthusiasm , awareness, order and truth.
Sept 23rd – Walking tour of Coney Island/Brighton Beach
October 22nd – Cooking Class
Nov – Theatre – The Band’s Visit
Dec – Shabbat dinner w/ guest speaker
January – Israeli Film, others TBD
In a city teeming with every ethnicity and identity, we are blessed with a vibrant Jewish culture that emerges around every corner. Join us as this Minyan explores sites old and new, experiencing them with fresh faces and inquisitive minds. We will come together as we savor Jewish New York.
Mondays, 7:00-8:30 pm November 13, December 11, January 8, February 5, March 5, April 9, May 7
Have you ever swirled the drink in your glass, looked around the party and thought; it would be so lovely to talk about something meaningful? If so, this might be just the cocktail party for you. We will take turns bringing a conversation starter (i.e., a poem, a lyric, a thought) and a bottle of wine, to each L’Chaim Minyan gathering. We will raise our glasses, and perhaps our consciousness, as we share our observations, experiences, questions, answers and ideas. Let’s reinvent the happy hour together!
Artists and Art Lovers, Creativity & Spirituality
A call to CRS member artists, art lovers, curators, educators and collectors. Modigliani to Rothko, Chagall to Kruger, Geldzahler to Saltz-Jews have always played an important role in the Art World. Together let’s share insights and explore past and current themes in art. We will look for and discuss the influences behind the work, as we visit art studios, explore current gallery and museum shows and attend art lectures. Each of our get togethers would include art related articles and inspiring nuggets from Pirkei Avot, that can be discussed before, after or during the minyan. The group will meet once per month and include at least 2 shabbat dinners during the year. Some get togethers may be in homes, but most will be outside the home.
Connecting Through Stories
Wednesdays at 7:30: November 8, December 6, January 17, February 14, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6
Why do we read fiction? Story telling uses both imagination and invention. As readers, we often develop an intimate relationship with the world the characters inhabit and the lives they attempt to lead, and we find ourselves forming bonds of identification and sympathy with many of them. Can literary imagination help form a public imagination, one that might influence policy makers to initiate change? In our minyan, we will consider short passages in works of fiction, and discuss how we, as a group, can better connect and identify with each other and the world at large through the experiences of those that inhabit the world of fiction.
American Short Stories
7-8:30pm Wednesday, Nov. 8 Tuesday, Dec. 5 Wednesday, Jan. 10 Tuesday, Feb. 6 Tuesday, March 6 Wednesday, April 11 Wednesday, May 9 Tuesday, June 5
In this Minyan, we will look at short stories by American writers from the early 20th Century to the present day, including diverse voices, subjects and locations, and try to answer the question of “what makes this an American story.” Authors may include Edith Wharton, Langston Hughes, John Cheever, Ray Bradbury, Louise Erdrich, Ha Jin, and Junot Diaz.
Food, Chat and Fun
Which came first – gefilte fish or the Bible? Perhaps we’ll never know. Join us for conversation as we eat together and sometimes cook together. We will explore the range of Jewish influences on food in the Diaspora and it’s varied meanings to us as individuals and in our culture. No prior cooking experience needed. Love of food and eating expected. Any dietary restrictions will be considered once the group forms.
Mentches and Diaper Stenches
Please note, these dates will be our standing dates; however, depending on the Minyan’s preference, we will also try to prepare get-togethers around a few choice holidays. 2017 Saturday, November 11: 10:45-11:45am Saturday, December 9: 10:45-11:45am 2018 Saturday, January 20: 10:45-11:45am Saturday, February 10: 10:45-11:45am Saturday, March 10: 10:45-11:45am Saturday, April 7: 10:45-11:45am Saturday, May 5: 10:45-11:45am Saturday, June 9: 10:45-11:45am
This group is for families with children five years and younger who are looking to share and celebrate their Judaism in an age-appropriate manner.
Minyan? It’s a Walk in the Park!
Wednesdays, 10:30- Noon: Nov 8, Dec 13, Jan 10, Feb 14, Apr 11, May 9
Tuesday, 10:30- Noon Mar 6
Do you love to get outside for a walk in one of our beautiful NYC parks in all kinds of weather? This group will gather for a weekday coffee break/walk. We will ask big questions, engage with the weekly Torah portion and share our reflections. There will be time for gathering as a full group to share, time for walking side-by-side with alternating partners and also time for silent reflection and nature appreciation. (Distance covered will be around 2.5 miles).
Spice of Shabbat
Fridays 8:00 pm 11/3, 12/8, 1/12, 2/9, 3/16, 4/13, 5/4
Does Shabbat go better with naan, injera, focaccia, or pita? You decide! Each Minyan, will meet around 8pm at a different ethnic restaurant. Dinners won’t always be kosher, but they always will be delicious. Bring your adventurous palette, and join us!
Sepharad–The Poetry of Jewish Spain
Mondays at 7:30, November 20th, December 18th, January 8th, February 19th, March 19th, April 2nd, May 7th
Come discover the rich beauty of Spanish Jewish Medieval poetry. We will read and discuss poems and learn about the Medieval world from which they came.
Writing – Torah Inspired
Mondays 7:00-8:30 pm, November 6th, December 4th, January 8th, February 5th, March 5th, April 2nd, May 7th
Discuss Torah text, write and share to connect! We will discuss a piece of Torah text, write what the selection and discussion inspire, share our pieces if we wish, to foster connection.
Whiskey, Wine, and Wondering
Thursday, 6:30-8:00pm: Nov 9th, Dec 7th, Jan 11th, Feb 8th, March 8th, April 12th, May 10th, June 7th
Though millennials will soon be the largest generation in the US, most of us are still trying to figure things out. Join us, as we meet to discuss issues important to our generation and topics that directly affect us as couples. Each meeting will feature a small-batch whiskey and a wine, which should help us as we search for answers.
This group is for millennial couples in committed, long-term relationships, currently without kids.
Feminism and Torah: An Oxymoron?
Sundays at 10:30 am: Nov. 5th, Dec. 3rd, Jan. 7th, Feb. 4th, March 4th, April 8th, May 6th
Our Torah has not always been kind to women. Jewish women scholars have long noted this difficulty and in 2008 a group of distinguished rabbis and academics published The Torah: A Women’s Commentary. Far from being a tome dissing men, the Commentary seeks to understand each parasha from the point of view of women. Besides the usual commentary, each chapter is spiced with poems and contemporary writings from notable women inlcuding Rabbi Lisa Grushcow (our Rabbi here at Rodeph Shalom not so long ago).
In our reading we’ll try to highlight those women who were held up and deeply respected as prophets, judges and righteous women. Where appropriate, we’ll contrast the women’s commentary with the Plaut commentary.
We will enjoy coffee and a light brunch. While the emphasis will be on women, intrepid men are most welcome to join the minyan.
On The Other Hand
Mondays 7:00 pm: October 23rd, November 20th, December 18th, January 15th
More dates to be decided as a group
At a time of deep discord and division, Judaism offers us a framework for facing co-existing, yet mutually exclusive, truths. This Minyan will focus on creating a space for civilized discourse with the goal of learning how to understand new truths and perspectives. We will use Jewish tools to see the complexity behind many of today’s pressing issues, and explore how we can step beyond the bounds of our ideological bubble to learn from the worldview of an other. We will enjoy dinner together as we discuss.
How do I sign up?
We have made this as simple as possible! Just click the “Sign Up” button and follow the 3-step process. You will be asked to offer your top three choices of Minyanim, and please make sure you are able to attend all of the listed meeting dates and times for them. If you need any assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I submit my desired Minyan(im) requests, am I guaranteed a spot in one of them?
We will do everything we can to ensure you get one of your top three choices. We will be placing people on a first-come-first-serve basis and will notify you about your Minyan within 48 hours of your request.
What if the Minyan I’m interested in is already full?
Minyan is based around small-group belonging which means limiting the size of each group. If your requested Minyanim are all full we will prioritize your placement into another available Minyan, or welcome you to be trained to ignite your own Minyan.
What if I can only make some of the meeting times of a Minyan?
The purpose of Minyan is connection which depends on the consistency of shared time and space. While we recognize that life and the world sometimes present unexpected conflicts, please only request to join a Minyan whose meeting dates and times all work in your schedule.
What if I want to start my own Minyan?
Wonderful! Please contact your clergy at email@example.com and we will explore this together!