The Downtown Baltimore Jewish Community Center now has a program for young professionals. Rabbi Jessy Gross offers the Charm City Tribe which she describes as a way to engage with the culture without confining it to synagogue. “The value of religion is that it’s not relegated to a space or a time,” Gross said. Through Charm City Tribe, Gross hopes to challenge the reasons that young Jews don’t always engage with their culture.
“Tradition’s not irrelevant we just need to update how we translate it,” Gross said. Gross likes to plan her events around the rhythm of the Jewish calendar, that way she can associate what’s happening in the world as it relates to Jewish values. This past Hanukkah, the group created their own set of Hanukkah candles and on Passover they partnered with the Moishe House to hold a Fair Trade Chocolate Seder. The group also hopes to continue its Four Rabbis, Five Opinions series in which four Rabbis from the different strains of Judaism get together to discuss a topic that relates to Jewish values.
For Gross, the group is all about laying ground with individuals. Like all programs at the JCC, Charm City Tribe is open to all people, Jewish or not, and Gross is always open to answering any questions.