The future of Judaism will take place in your rabbi’s house

(Photo courtesy Unsplash)

The new urban, decentralized, personal style of Judaism is perhaps best exemplified by Base, an organization that first sprung up in 2015 out of New York. Rabbinic couples open up their homes for High Holidays, Shabbat meals and discussion groups, inviting mostly young adults to attend and find a physical place to connect with their Judaism.

It’s of a piece with the broader rising impulse of revitalizing urban spaces and creating more “15-minute cities”—cities where everything you need, from groceries to banking, is a 15-minute walk away. To learn more about the Jewish angles of the trend, Avi sat down with Rabbi Jesse Paikin, a Toronto native who loved Base enough to move to Washington, D.C., to become the group’s executive director.

Plus, we discuss Phoebe’s musing COVID-19 turning three, the losing weekends for Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans shut out at the Oscars) and Team Israel (definitively destroyed at the World Baseball Classic), and Avi’s whirlwind trip to New Jersey.

What we talked about


Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy. Zachary Kauffman is the producer and editor. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Socalled. The show is a co-production from The Jewish Learning Lab and The CJN, and is distributed by The CJN Podcast Network. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast or donating to The CJN.