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Community Gatherings: Rise Up!


THE RECAP

Arq’s community gatherings are beautiful, inviting, personally enriching experiences inspired by Jewish life, rituals, and people. We provide guided get-to-know-yous, a special guest who leads a short and meaningful activity, demos by creators of cool Jew-ish products, and tasty snacks & drinks.

EVERYONE is welcome.

The global theme for our October / November gatherings was: Rise Up!

We chose the theme Rise Up!, because the Hebrew month that coincided with our October / November gatherings was Cheshvan, which is often characterized as one of downfall. It’s the month when Noah and his family entered the ark and the flood began, all because of moral decline.

But, wait!

Cheshvan is also about rising again and helping each other do that. So, we gathered and discussed: How we can we support ourselves and others when we are down? How can we rise up together?

Katie Tilson, Arq’s NYC host, invited Amanda Litman, founder of Run for Something, to share her personal story of ups, downs, and perseverance.

Amanda was the email director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and election night was a nightmare for her. She allowed herself to stew, but, as she told us, taking action is a Jewish value that she holds dear. On Inauguration Day, Amanda launched Run for Something and, later, wrote a book by the same name to fund and support progressive millennial candidates running for local office.

We also enjoyed having the talented makers behind AHYIN and Em Kagan share their work with us. The snacks that Zucker’s provided made the evening that much more delightful.

In LA, our founder, Danya, hosted the first ever West Coast Arq event! Our special guest was Dina Kuperstock, a film agent turned chaplain (a.k.a., she provides spiritual care).

Dina told the tale of Noah and the ark and reminded us of the ray of hope at the end of the story. After the floods, Noah built a small altar to express pure gratitude for the survival of life on Earth. The sweet smoke from the fire Noah lights on the altar rises up to Adonai (meaning God, or Universe, or Sacred Eternal Being, or whatever name works for you!) and Adonai makes a mutual deal with Noah and his descendants. Adonai will never destroy the Earth again if human beings become responsible for their actions, if they respect human and animal life and use the Earth’s resources mindfully. To seal the deal, Adonai shines light into the sky and a rainbow appears.

Dina then led us in a meditation that reminded us that human beings are capable of so much more than evil. We may stumble and fall into darkness, fear, or missteps, but each of us also has potential and goodness and beauty – a bright light – in us. We have the choice and responsibility to co-create and sustain the world we want to live in.

Late Sunday Afternoon, our beautiful, magical venue, only enhanced the experience. Check out their handmade Jewish prayer shawl-inspired scarves, which are knotted at the ends and blessed with Love, Happiness, Adventure, and Mystery.

Do it yourself!

We encourage you to find some time to ask yourself and others:

– When have you fallen and gotten back up again? Who helped you?

– What’s a cause that riles you up or that you have been an advocate for?

– What’s something that you need help with right now?

Share your responses with the Arq community by tagging @thisisarqco on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or emailing hey@thisisarq.com.

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