In late 1879, a group of young committed Jews from New York and Philadelphia came together to pursue the revival of what they called the, “Ancient faith.” This attempt at revival was to be accomplished through a heightened focus on peoplehood, a greater emphasis on spirituality and religiosity, and the further establishment of Jewish education for the younger generations.
The group of Jewish young adults, mostly in their twenties, called themselves Keyam Dishmaya, an Aramaic expression meaning the faith or belief that was. As the organization progressed they established a newspaper to help circulate their influence and ideologies; they called it the American Hebrew. In the first publication, the founders and writers of the American Hebrew explained that their motivation for writing was to, “Stir up [their] brethren to pride in our time-honored faith.” Their goal was to rally their fellow same-aged Jews in order to ensure that the future of American Judaism was both traditional and contemporary.
Similar to Keyam Dishmaya, Masorti on Campus would like to introduce our new publication, Aha!, the title for our blog is an acronym for Anu Ha’Atid, meaning, “we are the future”–“we,” referring to Jewish young adults, and “are the future,” with regards to the Conservative/Masorti Movement. Masorti on Campus is an organization that engages Conservative/Traditional-Egalitarian Jews on college campuses, and likewise Aha! will be an online blog for these Conservative/Masorti Jews.
Aha! will be an open forum for young Conservative/Masorti leaders across North America, enabling Masorti on Campus to provide a platform for discussion regarding the present and future direction of Conservative/Masorti Judaism. By providing different leaders from different campuses a forum in which they can express their opinions, worries, ideas, and experiences, we hope to provide a space for college-age Conservative/Masorti Jews to practice Judaism together. Masorti on Campus, through Aha!, hopes to provide a valuable opportunity for individuals’ voices to be heard as the Conservative/Masorti movement enters its second century.
Ethan Weg is the Editor of Aha! If you are interested in writing for Aha! please contact Ethan Weg at Ethanweg@gmail.com