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Our First Ever Community Gathering


The Recap

We ❤️ the internet, but there’s simply no replacement for connecting IRL. 👫

Our first ever community gathering was a beautiful, inviting, personally enriching experience inspired by Jewish life, rituals, and, of course, people.

Special thanks to Industrious, Orwashers, and Balance Water for their support.

Arq helps anyone connect with all things Jewish in an inclusive, relevant, and convenient way.

Since Arq launched in December 2016, we have offered content that anyone can access online – including The Ish, our weekly digest of all things Jew-ish – and a few beautiful, one-off events in NYC.

This gathering was the beginning of what we hope will become an ongoing, global tradition: bringing Arqies together in a casual, warm setting for connection and fun, meaningful experiences.

We’re grateful to the attendees of this inaugural event for being our guinea pigs!

We began the event with some quality mingling in the Pinterest-worthy lounge of Industrious Manhattan, noshing on Orwashers‘ delectable babkas and bagels, and quenching our thirst with Balance Water and a refreshing assortment of wine and beer.

At any point, the Arqies in attendance could browse the work of 2 of our favorite local artists, Ariel Tidhar and Meirav Ong.

Ariel is an Israeli-American designer whose upbringing informs her work and who uses her art to lessen the divide between art and fashion.

Meirav is a visual artist and facilitator of creative experiences. She creates custom ketubot, and she’s the founder of Women Who Kaddish, a spiritual platform for women who have experienced saying kaddish, and The Well of Wills, a workshop and prayer book designed to reimagine spiritual expression and practice through embodied, improvisational art, and ritual-design.

In the spirit of the upcoming Jewish New Year and the High Holidays, during which self-assessment and forgiveness are central themes, we asked Beth Weinstein, a business coach who helps launch and grow heart-centered businesses and conscious consumer products, to share a cathartic and interactive ritual with us.

Beth taught us a powerful Hawaiian word and mantra-based healing practice: ho’oponopono. It means, “to make right; to put in order or correct.” The accompanying mantra, “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you,” is used for fostering forgiveness and acceptance.

Inspired by this ancient tradition, we meditated while Jessica Birnbaum Pratt chanted the mantra and we committed to forgiving ourselves and others for specific wrongdoings.

We wrote down our commitments anonymously and shared a few with the whole group to remind ourselves that we all experience pain and disappointment and that we’re here for each other as we aim to transform that heartache into love.

We talked, connected, and snacked until it was time to head home, and we left with deeper relationships with likeminded folks and a new way to connect to Judaism.

We did receive one piece of feedback in our post-event survey that we may or may not choose to remedy in the future: “Babka was too delicious.”

Do it yourself!

The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the Days of Awe and are the time when we make amends for our own wrongdoings and forgive others for theirs.

We challenge you to chant the ho’oponopono mantra on each of those 10 days and to share your experience with us!

How did it feel? What did you forgive yourself for? What did you forgive others for? Which of the grander community’s offenses can you take some responsibility for and let go of?

When you share your stories on social media, use the hashtag #heyarq to get our attention and we may re-share your story with the whole Arq community!

Photos by Josh Dormont

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