Different Worlds: One Community

Ariel posterWe’ve been talking alot about the diverse and well-integrated communities in Ariel. All of that talk might seem like some superficial sort of motto, or a lack of appreciation of the challenge involved in creating such a community. All the same, time and time again I’m amazed to see just how true it is.

This past Shabbat we had four Anglo families visiting Ariel. Each came from different backgrounds, and each for different reasons.  The families hailed from New York, Montreal, Jerusalem and Gush Etzion. From Teimanim to Ahskenazim, couples without children to families with kids in a variety of age-groups, from different religious orientations and very different professions. These “externals” don’t really begin to describe how different these families were from each other. The best way of putting things is that a “community referral organization” (wouldn’t it be great if something like that existed!) would send each of the families to different – perhaps even very different – places. That is- if the organization wouldn’t know about Ariel.

My wife and I only noticed this once everyone went home. We were mulling over our Shabbat experiences, and it seemed like everyone had a great time. That’s not new to us (obviously). But, I think that it hit us that the families were easily distinguished from one another- yet each of them really felt comfortable amongst the various members of the community. Almost like Ariel is “one-size-fits-all”.

I actually don’t believe in a “one-size-fits-all” community or society. Differentiation is important – everyone has something to add to life in this country- and there are many ways of going about that. On the other hand, sometimes people want to add in a unique way – in a place where they can feel comfortable to be both an integral part of the community and an individual at the same time.  They want to know that their paricipation is meaningful and that the world is a better place because they’re around. Maybe that’s why Ariel helps people tap in to their positive energy and personal motivation so naturally.

As Jews we know that each and every person is a world in and of himself. And yet, if every person is a complete world then how can we expect everyone to inhabit the same planet?!?! IMHO – Ariel is the answer. I know it sounds like an avertisement, but I’ll say it anyway – the community here is where so many different worlds enjoy living together.


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