Yesterday I figured out a name for my social group at shul and since no one has complained, I think it might be sticking. The name? “Loosely Defined” Why? Because I need a new Neighborhoodie and Loosely Defined would KICK ASS on a hoodie.
Why else? We started as a group for people in their 30s and 40s without kids. But then some people got pregnant, some people already had kids (but were single), some of us are in our 20s, and some of us aren’t jewish. So we are Loosely Defined. I love it and hope other people do too.
Sometimes I feel like I’m sitting at the Kid’s Table when I’m with Loosely Defined. Not in a bad way, but we aren’t invovled with the religious school yet. We aren’t planning bar mitzvahs or college funds (and most of us aren’t even planning brit milahs.)
Within Loosely Defined, we are finding out how to be jewish adults without jewish families. We are kind of our own Jewish family. We tend to read a lot and try to do Jewish things outside of shul. I think this is where the hipster Jewish movement is heading. That Young American Jews are trying to find ways to be Jewish within a community, but outside of shul. And to make it matter.
I think that explains the popularity of Heeb, Jewlicious, Jewcy and other jewish outlets. But I also think we are overall very accepting of God and the religion. Perhaps because we are coming into our jewishness as adults. About half of my social group are people I met in my Jew 101 class, others are in the class now, and others were born jewish.
I’m going to be mulling over Loosely Defined and how the idea might be the definition of American Jews.