Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership

Community Building and Israeli Cultural Programming

Mission:

The RJCP exists to serve as a vehicle for Riverdale Jewish institutions

  • In facilitating collaboration and communal consensus
  • Sharing resources and building bridges of connection
  • And visioning a stronger Jewish community

We strive to live our values through our daily actions.  We aspire to fulfill our mission by nurturing people and connecting communities, each day, through every age, inspired by Jewish values for every person regardless of race, skin tone, ethnicity, country of origin, economic status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, special needs or citizenship status.

Our sacred mission is communicating, negotiating, purposing, supporting, and developing partnerships among the Jewish communal institutions in Riverdale. We define our charge as “Strengthening the fabric of the community by amplifying the long-held value of ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ while redefining ‘neighbor’ from geographic term to moral concept.”  This mandate has guided our work through very challenging times, as well as celebrations.

We make the following statements, committed to learning and action within our community and when possible, throughout our greater Riverdale community, and invite others into the work.

TZELEM ELOHIM – Divine Image (uniqueness and dignity)

We believe that all lives matter as an explicit expression of the most fundamental value of human potential. As such we vision and plan, creating space for diversity among our members.

B’RIT – Covenant (belonging and commitment)

We engage in this work as partners with sibling organizations across our neighborhood. We engage in this work knowing that the Jewish community and the Riverdale Y are made up of neighbors with multiple identities. We further recognize that our success is only made possible by the continued relational work that has come before and will continue.

K’DUSHAH – Holiness (intentionality and presence)

We are focused and present to address the issues at hand for the work we do within our Riverdale community.  We examine the role each of us plays as a part of the problem and that each of us can play to be part of the solution. And we purposefully move forward together holding the sacredness of each encounter as a stepping stone toward greater communal responsibility.

HIT’ORERUT – Awakening (amazement and gratitude)

Our ears, eyes, hearts, and minds are open as vehicles of learning from and with those with whom we foster relationships. We are blessed to hold so many partners and are eager to build with each other.

D’RASH – Interpretation (inquiry, dialogue, and transmission)

We are required to be engaged and seek out ways we can impact positive change. In collaboration with trusted partner organizations, we bring individuals from different lived experiences together, by providing structured opportunities to learn from each other and build connectedness and understanding.

MASA – Journey (reflection, return, and renewal)

We approach our work with humility, aware that individuals and institutions are on journeys of understanding and discovery as are we.  We appreciate the journeys of other individuals and institutions no matter how far along they are.  We embrace the long-held values of graciousness (chen), loving-kindness (chesed), and compassion (rachamim) throughout our journey.

TIKKUN OLAM – Repair of the World (responsibility)

We are committed to repairing the brokenness within ourselves and the brokenness of our world caused by societal inequities.  As we move closer to a more complete beloved community and a more perfect union, we are guided by the Jewish value of justice (tzedek) and reminded to do so by the double imperative, “Justice, justice shall you pursue!” (Deuteronomy 16:20)

 

(The above framework is inspired by the 7 lenses we employ in our Early Childhood Development Center of the Riverdale YM-YWHA.  Used across all aspects of early childhood education in the national JCC Sheva network, this application of the lenses to the Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership is unique.  We welcome your conversation at jrobinson@riverdaley.org.)

Joseph Robinson

Director, Community Engagement

Rabbi Joseph Robinson joined the Riverdale community after many adventures throughout the United States and Israel. He has extensive experience working with a variety of different Jewish communities in California,…

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When the Jewish community comes together, there is no stopping the impact we have on each other. In the Fall of 2019, we hosted a story slam to offer a window into the lives of our community members. They practiced vulnerability that allowed others to see themselves in the stories presented. This event spurred conversation and offered a forum to engage each other. Please share in that experience by watching our featured storytellers below.

 

(Not) Alone

By Ann Lapin

Local mom feels love and support from the community, following the turmoil of pregnancy and loss.

 

246 Mile Leg of my Jewish Journey

By Bernard Goldstein

Sometimes the journey towards inclusion can feel like you’re lost and wandering in the desert.  Yet at the same time it might be a journey through the desert, which actually helps you find your way!

Targets and Nets

By Sheila Hicks-Rotella

A look at Judaism in the world colored by race and sexuality.

Small Acts

By Yali Szulanski

Act One: Learning compassion and forgiveness, which leads to healing and recovery. Act Two: Teaching compassion and empathy, which leads to chessed and tzedaka.

Everything happens for a reason

By Heidi Weissman

I found God in Judaism through adversity and struggles in life, I believe everything happens for a reason.

The Shell that has no Shape

By Albert Levi

An attorney facing a dark night of the soul is led to a place in the sun. A tale of family, faith, and fortitude.

emBODYment

By Aviva Braun

A Psychotherapist specializing in body image problems turns to her photography lens to create a project to help Jewish women feel at home in their bodies.