Cohousing can be a wonderful mixing pot of all sorts. It is rare to find a community united solely by the desire to be a community, one which allows for differences in religion, race, education, geographic origin, etc. I think this is one of the most celebration-worthy aspects of cohousing!
Today, the third day of Hanukkah, I am reflecting on my first semester of grad school, on the type of communities I would like to create during my career… Also on the necessity of passing down traditions and the role community plays in this.
I am a child of a mixed-marriage between a Jewish mother and a Catholic father. I enjoyed the celebrations of both but felt a true connection to neither. (A fact I think is true of many mixed-faith families) Not until, that is, I found a community that led me to religion. As a sophmore in college I participated in Birthright – a free trip for Jewish youth to Israel. Through this trip I found the very large community of Jews at the University of Michigan and got sucked into the Hillel, Shabbat dinners, and birthright reunion events. I enjoyed the camaraderie and the easy acceptance. Further, I enjoyed the strength of that community as I continued to find support in it years later when I moved to New York City. I was surprised to find U of M Hillel sponsored events… 600 miles away from campus! I am still not a very spiritual person, but my attachment to this group and the community with which it provided me remains a very strong tie to Judaism, one that I will probably fight hard to pass down to my children.
So, my question to you, Cohousing Community, is this:
How has living in community changed your religion? Has it changed your traditions? What you know about other religions? How you’ve raised your children? Has it been confusing to them, or enlightening? To you?
Further Reading List!Posted by: Rebecca Disbrow Blog Editor, Cohousing Collaborative