At Malkhut we are launching our first ever High Holy Day season as we create more ways for people in Western Queens (Astoria, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside and LIC) to experience alive, relevant Judaism throughout the year.
Malkhut is not trying to be a traditional synagogue. We are a vision-driven, inclusive, start-up community that wants to create something new. We actively reach out to folks who may not have had a connection to Jewish community in a long time (or ever), and we engage in Jewish practices that we believe open hearts and transform lives. We see ourselves as part of a larger national spiritual movement of Jews returning to the essentials – of making connections that are local and meaningful.
In this second year of Malkhut’s existence, we have two priorities:
- to create soulful, musical, participatory prayer experiences for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This year we will be collaborating with Jackson Heights-based Kehilat Tikvah to provide the full schedule of services.
- to create a monthly multi-generational Shabbat morning (Saturday) community that prays, studies, meditates and eats together while providing age-appropriate educational components for kids.
High Holy Days are often a time when folks who may not have thought about their Judaism in a while are seeking a way to reconnect. It is an opportunity to give people a taste of Malkhut.
But High Holy Days aren’t enough! Just as our bodies need regular healthy food and exercise, our hearts and spirits yearn for attention all year long.
This past year, we experimented with monthly Shabbat evenings in a church space in Astoria and Shabbat mornings in apartments in Jackson Heights. Our pilot year was very successful, but those apartments on Saturdays were often filled to capacity. We charge for some events, and others are free. But it is not enough to cover the costs if we want to grow this scrappy start-up effort!
The funds we raise in this campaign will help us make space for everyone, pay our rabbinical, music, education and childcare staff, and establish roots so we can grow and sustain our community.
To give you a sense of what our costs are like:
- Our portion of High Holy Days (we are sharing the cost with Kehilat Tikvah) is about 4k.
- Monthly Shabbat mornings for the year run us about 12k.
- Monthly Friday night services cost 5k.
Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg has more than 14 years of experience building community and creating heart-opening, relevant Jewish experiences for all ages. She has dedicated her rabbinate to innovative spiritual practice and the creation of community that is open, joyful and accessible.
By making music and training volunteer singers and musicians to work together, Music Director Kris Wettstein aims to create, in his words, “intimacy with the divine source of love, life and music happening in real time.” He invites all to join and contribute their voices to the collective song of Malkhut.