In my previous taking stock post, I wrote about what I like in the New Orleans Jewish community. Now, I’ll post some of the things I think could be better (and that I will hopefully work on in the future).
-My Spiritual Life
I feel like a stranger in a strange land. I am a convert. I converted at a Reform synagogue. The only synagogue I feel comfortable in is a Conservative synagogue. Where do I fit in?
I would like a synagogue that has a more musical tradition. I would like a synagogue where gender norms aren’t so strictly followed. However, I’m not going to find the music or gender deviants I want in New Orleans. New Orleans is very Southern, and the ways in which it assimilated with the culture at large are very different from the variants I found in Tampa. Somehow, I’m going to have to find a way to feel comfortable with what I’ve found here.
-Rosh Chodesh Group
I would like to join a Rosh Chodesh group, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable in an Orthodox setting, so New Orleans’s Rosh Chodesh group is probably not a great fit for me. This is where I really feel I can work on the community; I would like to start one. I just need to find a group of (probably exclusively) women who would like to join and figure out other logistics, like where we’re going to meet and what the meetings will look like.
I am hungry for more Jewish learning opportunities. I want to understand what’s going on in Jewish texts, learn how to read Hebrew, and attend classes based around Jewish issues and themes I’m interested in. There are some learning opportunities here, but I would like to see them grow. I have less confidence in my ability to start a group, because I don’t feel like I have enough expertise to run one, and so far I haven’t found many other people willing to give up their time and energy to teach or participate in the classes.