When we started IKAR, some suggested that we stick to what’s sexy, the stuff everyone can agree on — schmooze, booze, young Jews… with maybe a little community service on top. But we had a different idea. We wanted to build community around a shared encounter with Jewish prayer. The biggest challenge: to create an experience in which cynics and seekers, atheists and ardent believers, newbies and ringers could all be in this together.
We’ve come to believe that real, heartfelt davening can change who we are and how we see the world. It can illuminate the darkest corners of the soul, stretch open the narrowest passages of the heart. It can make you cry and it can make you dance. It can awaken you to a deep sense of purpose, give expression to your loneliness, your grief, your yearning and your gratitude. It can connect you to God and to community. It can connect you to yourself.
And, most importantly, it can take you by surprise.