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New Individual and Collective Dreams

Imagine for a moment if Hazon staged a Bike Ride (as we do several times each year) but if the participants showed up with incredibly varied notions of what a bike even was. One person came with a unicycle. For another, a bike meant one of those antique bicycles with the huge front wheel. And others came with a tandem bike, a tricycle, a scooter, an outdoor elliptical bike, a recumbent, a motorcycle, a stationary exercise bike, and other bikes beyond your existing conceptions. (I just looked at Google images for “strange bikes,” and you might enjoy doing the same.)

The event would then become more than just a bike ride; it would be an exercise in exploring our individual and collective imaginations, about exploring what was, what is, and what may be possible.

Last November’s first ever Jewish Intentional Communities Conference – co-sponsored and planned by Hazon, Pearlstone Conference & Retreat Center, and the Jewish Agency for Israel – felt a bit like that bike ride might feel.

Nearly 200 people gathered together at the Pearlstone Center in November 2013 to talk about Jewish intentional communities – many with completely different concepts of what a Jewish intentional community was… or is… or could be – and left with new ideas, new friendships, new networks, and new individual and collective dreams.

This November 20-23, those with intentional community histories, presents, and visions – perhaps you amongst them – will be gathering together at our Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, Connecticut, the home to various incarnations of intentional community, for this year’s Jewish Intentional Communities Conference.

Together, we’ll learn from and share with each other, vision together, and plant seeds for communities to come. Whether you’ve been a part of an intentional community, are a part of one now, want to start one, or just want to learn more, we welcome you to join the conversation! We share a vision that over the next 3-10 years, new Jewish intentional communities will bloom across the country – from urban kibbutzim to rural moshavim, suburban co-ops, and more – and that these dynamic and vibrant new Jewish communities will become inspiring catalysts in an ongoing renaissance in American Jewish life.

Among the many and varied sessions, we’ll…

  • Explore intentional communities in Biblical, Talmudic, and shtetl times, as well as 20th century models of kibbutzim, moshavim, chavurot, communies, and co-housing
  • Learn about real life case studies such as Moishe Kavod house, the Adamah Farm Fellowship, and varied communities in Israel
  • Refine our own skills to plan, design, and form new Jewish intentional communities, limited only by our ideas and visions

Sure, it’s fun when everyone comes to an event with a shared vision; but just imagine how mind-expanding it can be when everyone shares their own unique and creative dreams.

At this year’s Jewish Intentional Communities Conference, we want to see what kind of bike you ride in on… and who might be riding it along with you when you leave.