A year and a half ago, my now-wife Rebecca flew from New York to Israel with the express purpose of informing me that we were to spend the rest of our lives together. I already loved her, of course, a love that had grown and blossomed during 2 and a half years of friendship. But the true “wow” factor of her visit was the vision of the home we would create together.
We imagined Shabbat meals, parties, and discussions, turning our home into a 21st century salon, where everybody, no matter who they were or what they believed, would feel welcome. We wanted to create a place that was filled with joy and depth, with song and love, abundant food and an overabundant amount of people.
Rebecca and I both love Judaism. We love the way Halacha (Jewish law) plays into our lives as a mindfulness practice, enriching our personhood and strengthening our souls.
Yet we have also experienced a feeling of alienation — a sense that despite our love for Jewish life, we didn’t (and maybe still don’t) belong. Traditional Jewish spaces can sometimes feel limiting, uninviting or restrictive. We can both remember times when we felt we lacked knowledge, were less observant or not sufficiently Jewish enough for a specific place. We can also remember times we hoped to enter more open and pluralistic Jewish spaces, yet felt uncomfortable when we expressed a desire to practice a higher level of kashrut or a more traditional experience of Shabbat.
We want to do more for Jewish people across the map of Jewish life and practice. Our dream is to build a home for the entire community, a place where anyone and everyone feels genuine hachnassat orchim — where you can feel welcome not only as guests but as real shareholders in a meaningful Jewish experience.
We are beyond excited for the temporary home we will open in Berlin this summer. We look forward to welcoming you into our space, regardless of your age, affiliation, or level of observance. Come eat with us, come drink with us, come practice yoga with us, come learn Torah with us. Come and tell us who you are and how we can make our apartment a place where you can feel at home.
You can follow Base Berlin on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive updates and notifications when we hold events. We look forward to building a home together!
Base BERLIN is the home of a rabbinic couple that welcomes Jews of all backgrounds, orientations and traditions. Jeremy and Rebecca’s home is located in the Kreuzberg neighborhood. They will be hosting events, meals and gatherings there during the month of July to facilitate meaningful and inventive Jewish experiences for the Berlin community.