The Neighborhood: An Urban Center for Jewish Life,
is a new model of community center designed to match the needs
and spirit of the Jewish communities in Central and Northern Brooklyn.
WHAT'S THE NEIGHBORHOOD?
Imagine a multiplicity of activities, spaces, and people interacting day and night...
The Neighborhood will be an inclusive and welcoming community hub with a physical Brooklyn location. We will be a gathering place for local Jewish groups and organizations that don't have their own space, for new programming, and for cross-community collaboration. We will produce programs to fill gaps, raise up underrepresented perspectives, and welcome the thousands of Brooklynites that have not yet found their Jewish home. We hope to create a welcoming space that reflects the spirit of Brooklyn -- future-thinking and deeply historical, iconoclastic, and sacred. And that serves an excellent cup of coffee.
We will host other organizations and their communities and curate our own programming. We see ourselves as part of the global Jewish dialogue about contemporary Jewish life, inviting the worldwide community to our neighborhood and enriching our local culture.
A search for our permanent space is currently underway. We are trying to find the right physical space to help us bring this big idea into concrete reality.
This idea has been cooking for a number of years, but as we begin to refashion our regular life, there is a palpable feeling of wanting to come back together and share meaningful experiences in person. And for many of us, we are also looking for new ways to connect to our Jewish identity and bring our friends and families with us on that journey.
The Neighborhood is here to help enable our renaissance in Brooklyn.
We plan to serve Central and North Brooklyn, a vast area with many different communities. We hope to find a location that is easily accessible (by bus, train, bike, car, feet, and wheels) from throughout this area.
And, of course, we’ll welcome friends from all of the five boroughs and beyond.
HOW WILL WE CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY?
The underlying premise of The Neighborhood is that it is of and for the community. We believe our area needs additional infrastructure to support our growth and bring us together. We are in the middle of a community dialogue process to learn from our local neighbors and stakeholders about their needs, hopes, and dreams. We’re committed to partnering with and representing the Central and Northern Jewish Brooklyn community and its constituent groups, organizations, institutions, and community members —to bring us together and continue to build a thriving community.
We believe that we need a place where community members with diverse lived experiences will feel welcomed and included, honoring the many ways that people connect to Jewish identity and are curious about learning more about our robust tradition. We are working to learn from people with different perspectives and intersecting identities about how to create that type of space in Brooklyn for this current moment. We envision the space being a microcosm of the beautiful communities in our borough.
We're eager to hear what you want to happen in The Neighborhood and how you see yourself contributing to bringing this big vision to life!
WHO IS LAUNCHING THE NEIGHBORHOOD?
The Neighborhood: An Urban Center for Jewish Life, an independent 501(c)3, was founded by community members, the Founding Board is JJ Berney, Marcella Kanfer Rolnick, and Philippe Visser. Rebecca Guber is the Founding Director. Rebecca Guber, a Brooklyn-based Jewish communal entrepreneur has had a long career developing innovative arts programming, most recently as the founder and director of Asylum Arts, a global network of artists that engages audiences with Jewish ideas and community. Asylum Arts will be integrated into The Neighborhood as its key arts programming pillar.
With seed funding from UJA-Federation of New York, we are excited to work with existing Jewish organizations, community members, and groups. We are working with an ever-growing list of Community Advisors who bring their viewpoints, organizations, and personal stories to help us build together.
The underlying premise of The Neighborhood is that it's of and for the community. We believe our area needs additional infrastructure to support our growth and bring us together. We know this once-in-a-generation project will only be successful if many of us collaborate and co-create.
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW?
We are in the midst of our community dialogue process and if you'd like to share your thoughts, be in touch and we will find a time to talk.
We are also looking for potential spaces, so if you know that absolutely perfect building or have thoughts on who we should be in touch with, please reach out.