Rodef Shalom plans co-working space in NoVa

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Photo courtesy of Temple Rodef Shalom.

 

Temple Rodef Shalom, in Falls Church, is developing a co-working space with a Jewish bend, to provide a community area for professionals to work and interact.

It will be in Northern Virginia, but the synagogue has not begun considering possible sites and has not set a timeline for the space’s opening.

The space, whose working title is “Kibitz,” is being funded by a $100,000 grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, according to Cookie Mandell, Temple Rodef Shalom’s director of membership engagement.

Cantor Rachel Rhodes, of Temple Rodef Shalom, said the goal is to provide an innovative and comfortable space for Northern Virginia Jews in their 20s and 30s to work collaboratively.

“We want to create a place for them to find their spiritual home and their social and Jewish home,” she said. “Currently, that home is spread out in many different venues. We were looking for an innovative way for all of these groups to come together that would bring a wider sense of how they could engage in Judaism in this area.”

Rhodes said Rodef Shalom has identified partners and has begun meeting with them to discuss ideas and goals for the space. Partners include Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, Friends of the IDF, Honeymoon Israel, the Den Collective, NOVA Tribe Series and Young Leadership of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, according to Mandell.

Rhodes said the temple has not yet asked them to make a financial contribution to the project.

She added that the space will house Jewish activities during and after the work day, to keep its members connected to their Jewish faith and heritage. The idea is that “people are working but also feeling like Judaism is a little more present in their lives,” she said.

Rhodes said the plan is for Jewish organizations to be able to purchase a monthly subscription for their employees. Individuals who work for other organizations or nonprofits whose ideals align with Judaism will also be allowed to join with a subscription.

Shari Merrill, chief impact officer for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, said Kibitz is something Northern Virginia doesn’t have. It meets the Federation’s goals of investing in Northern Virginia and in Jews in their 20s and 30s.

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