Kabbalat Shabbat and Community Potlucks — our Friday night gatherings are joyous, rejuvenating and inspiring. Twice a month, we chant, meditate, pray, and study sacred text. Our community deepens connections over the vegetarian potluck dinners that follow the service. The food, like the community, is often home-cooked and locally-grown, and always nourishing for body and soul.
Generations Shabbat — Picture a circle of elders seated in chairs or wheelchairs. On the floor in front of them are children crawling, sprawling, dancing, prancing and singing. We dwell in the sanctity of Shabbat together, learning chants and blessings, and sharing the Torah of our lives. “I never leave without tearing up at the beauty of it all,” one participant commented.
Holiday Celebrations — We embrace the Jewish calendar as an organic whole, revealing many faces of the divine through cyclic and seasonal rituals.
- Our first Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Services drew over 150 people; on the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah, we took a contemplative hike to hear the call of the shofar echo through the Mohonk Preserve.
- 60+ people built a locally-harvested Sukkah and celebrated Sukkot together
- On Purim, Mishloach Manot, home-baked gifts and mementos from Israel, were serendipitously delivered to over 70 households (all the local members for whom we had addresses)
- We welcomed 125 into our tent for Passover
- Our Lag B’Omer Bonfire and BBQ included archery, a treasure hunt, and mystical teachings for 75 people. “I’d never even heard of Lag B’omer before. This was awesome!”
Lifecycle Support — the Kol Hai community has celebrated one bar mitzvah, two funerals, one memorial service, and three baby namings. Two more b’nai mitzvah are planned this year, as well as our first wedding.
Soul School — our hands-on, hearts-in ecological soul school for menches-in-training launched this fall. Our “Hai School” is rooted Jewish wisdom, language, values, culture, experience, and spiritual practices, while also branching out to be in relationship with modern expressions of creativity and community. Our educational kevutzah (leadership circle) is currently eleven people strong.