At JOI, we recommend that — in order to find the folks who aren’t walking into our institutions — the Jewish community needs to “go where the people are,” to share our celebration with them. So for Passover, the most celebrated holiday on the Jewish calendar, we recommend programming in the seasonal foods aisles of local supermarkets the weekend before the holiday rather than at Jewish Community Centers or synagogues.
A couple of weeks ago, to promote our model, JOI director of programs Ruth Decalo and I hosted twenty Jewish professionals from 15 different communities in an hour long conference call about planning this Passover “Public Space Judaism” program. The conversation was lively and centered on how to make holiday programs accessible; who is being served; how to get retail store management support; and how to follow-up with participants. Five professionals on the call were currently involved in running Passover in the Aisles, while several others are in the planning stages in their local community for the near future or for next Passover.