Another year of Mechanchim Seminar was in the name of critical and structured thinking concerning the community work. The majority of the participants had already visited our seminar and therefore we were able to follow up on the discussions from the past, upgrade the discussions by the insights of the new participants and shift our common thinking to a next level. There were in total 25 participants from Czech Jewish communities.
This time we did not only discuss what kind of community activities to plan and how to plan them, but we also devoted our deep thoughts to the idea of what our communities are like and what potential for development they have, who are the members and how could they be accountable for the growth of their communities. And, of course, we also debated about who we were and what our role was – how could we, as guides, contribute to the growth of our communities.
On the first day, we discussed with Alex Sinclair from Educating for Impact organization, the issue of the community as a fellowship of people and its role towards the members of the community; we spoke how the members contribute or could contribute to the direction of the development of the community. The discussions about particular aspects of this topic were sometimes very heated, because not all of the participants agreed with each other on what the community and activity of its members should look like. Nevertheless, thanks to those debates we came to very interesting ideas.
On the second day, together with Eva Šrůt from Moishe House organization, we were contemplating about our awareness concerning our congregants and our use of acquired knowledge in community planning – tailoring the community planning to the needs of people, who are part of it. We realized there were several tiny and seemingly less important aspects of community events, though, such events can play an important role in the life of the community.
The outcome of the seminar constituted several particular activities, which took place in the communities or will take place during the Tishrei month of holidays. We also agreed to continue in formal debates about the topics throughout the course of the year, with the help of both lecturers – Alex Sinclair and Eva Šrůt - until the next Mechanchim seminar.