It would be culturally powerful to have more observant Jews and considerably less in Jewish setting talking and sharing between each other on meaningful topics. The idea is that we come together to talk about fundamental human needs like health, environmental sustainability, Tikkun Olam(Healing the World). These are fundamental in our general Jewish tradition and have ample material to reference that are not necessarily religious in nature and to to some extent can avoid people judging each other. We can build new solid ways to be connected as people. Connection leads to Jewish preservation and strength. In Paris, I have designed Jewish workshops that are not religious focused like this and so I believe it is possible!
For example, in Paris I designed a workshop on Meditation and Shabbat, the focus was on the core meaning and values of why we even do Shabbat which is to rest, create balance, reconnect with other parts of ourselves, others etc… important concepts that are not necessarily religious. I added quotes from different Jewish sources to backup the discussion and even mentioned Shabbat rules. The Halakah was presented as a fact of our religion and it was not the focus of discussion. Together and individually we explored what the ideal Shabbat would look like through creative exercises myself and my partner designed. I did not ask participants of the workshop about their attitudes of Jewish observance. We explored feeling about what we do in our life on Shabbat and what we want our Shabbat to be like. Everyone seemed comfortable from the workshop and we had great feedback.
Bringing Jews who are from different backgrounds together I think it is generally easier to do in Paris the US, for example, in mentality and political attitude, we are more homogeneous in Paris. Also, we are large enough as population to make an impact on Jewish Pluralism and are actively seeking new solutions to keep us together as Jews. Paris is also the largest Jewish community in Europe and has an influx of Jewish ideas from other parts of Europe more then most European countries; can help with innovative ideas. We are also afraid of assimilation and antisemitism but there is less support here then in the US.
Though a series of workshops with many different pockets of the Jewish population we can delve into the core of our needs with the support of our deep and rich foundation in our religion and culture. We create between people positive feelings and camaraderie. Currently worldwide, we talk about intercultural relationships a lot but I believe that intracultural relationships are more important then we currently talk about. In a family, we find time to talk with everyone despite their behavioral differences. We need to focus more on “Shalom Bayit” (peace at home) if we want to stay an extended family because that is the only way we maintain an extended family.