- This week's top story is Los Angeles's newest prayer community, the Westside Minyan. Founded by people who moved west from New York, it is modeled after Kol Zimrah: full liturgy, guitar accompaniment, mostly singing, two-table potluck, etc. The Westside Minyan is actually the second minyan in LA that can claim lineal descent from Kol Zimrah: Minyan Malei Shirah was inspired by Kol Zimrah Jerusalem z"l (which was founded by people from the original Kol Zimrah in New York, but had a different style from the beginning, hence the two styles now coexisting in LA). As far as I know, there is no connection to the West Side Minyan on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (the minyan founded in the '70s that later became a part of Congregation Ansche Chesed and spun off Minyan M'at).
- In my hometown of Chicago, this past Friday night was the first meeting of the brand-new apartment minyan in Lakeview, a neighborhood with a hopping Jewish scene. It's so new that it doesn't have a name yet, but one of the founders wants to call it Mitzpeh Yam (i.e. Lakeview, or perhaps Seaview, but it's a Great Lake).
- We also hear that there are new minyanim in Charlottesville, Virginia (home of the University of Virginia) and Princeton Junction, New Jersey (home of the Dinky). That's all we know so far.
- Minyan Tehillah in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a "10+10" minyan: they define a quorum as 10 men and 10 women. (This requires twice as many people as either an egal minyan or a conventional non-egal minyan.) For large minyanim that have this policy, such as Shira Hadasha in Jerusalem, a quorum is always present anyway. Smaller "10+10" minyanim can be put to the test when they have to decide what it means for them if they don't have 10 of each: Do they continue as if there is a minyan? Do they continue as if there is no minyan? Do they wait indefinitely? We have previously linked to an account of one minyan's struggle with this issue (the Mission Minyan in San Francisco). Because Tehillah has not always had 20 people of the appropriate genders, they called a town hall meeting for last night to determine what to do in this case. No word yet on the results.
- What we reported last time about the bike ride home from the Hadar Shavuot Retreat was too good to be true; the bike ride was cancelled due to insufficient registration. The same cannot be said for the retreat itself; as usual, it has sold out and there is a waiting list. For some reason, people don't seem to want to bike 50 miles so soon after staying up all night.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Hanhu chavurata #6
We've gotten word of many more stories in the independent minyan world since last fortnight's column!