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Marom Journal 1: Memory at a Distance

Through collaboration, the Marom Journal will allow different sections of the Masorti community to learn more about each other.

By Marom

The initial idea for the Marom Journal came from a conversation with active Maromnik Theo Scheiner. Theo is studying for his MA in Gender Media and Culture at Goldsmith University, where he is working on an archival project about the role of memory and narrative in experiences of migration and place-making. For inspiration, he draws on the story of his grandfather who grew up in a town called Solotvyna now in the Ukraine. I was inspired by Theo’s use of photography in the project, in particular his mediation on one photo of his grandfather. I feel like this process is especially relevant because today we actively archive our own lives through photographs, diaries and videos. As Jews, we also create our own cultural memory through similar media. And often this archival material is not studied as memory but as objective history. Using this year’s Marom trip to Berlin as a starting point, I decided I wanted create a collection of essays that mediated on the idea of intergenerational memory of the Jewish presence in Eastern Europe.

 

The Marom Journal is a unique Masorti project for an important reason: it draws on contributions from people of all ages. What began as one young Masorti adult’s project quickly expanded to a text that tackled our community’s collective and intergenerationalmemory of our past. Whilst the Masorti movement is hugely successful at creating targeted programming for different age groups, we only have a handful of projects where we work together. Thinking through the impact on Anglo Jewry of both the Holocaust and our rich cultural history that predated it is by no means novel. But I believe that using a variety of different voices to explore these issues will shed some fresh light on this significant topic.

 

Through collaboration, the Marom Journal will allow different sections of the Masorti community to learn more about each other. Such a process is particularly important for Marom, as young adults remain in part a mystery to the wider community. This is by no means a controversial statement; as the Marom Young Adults Coordinator, my main aim has been to invigorate the largely fading community of young Masorti adults. Once and active in Noam and university politics, these core groups of spirited individuals begin to peel away from the movement shortly after university. They sometimes join a synagogue, but often it is because their parent joined for them or they plan to settle down. This year I have been trying to create a meaningful Masorti framework within which these young adults can explore their Jewish identities. So far I have been successful in bringing young adults together; through this journal I want to bring them back into the community.

 

The importance of the Marom Journal is twofold. Firstly, as a project it will bring the community together by showcasing work by a variation of authors of different ages. I hope that this will be the first journal of many and that we will be able to annually celebrate the talent of our Masorti members. Secondly, all proceeds made from the sales of the Marom Journal will go towards subsidising the annual Marom Europe trip. These trips are a high point in the Marom calendar as they are a way of spending a sustained amount of time with the young-adult community. When successful, they foster a core group of people who continue to come together the rest of the year as a Masorti community. This year’s trip to Berlin is set to be one of our most popular, and with the work of Marom growing it will hopefully cement a community that outlasts the trip.

 

As an organisation, Marom does not make a habit of asking for money from the Masorti members. The £20 cost of this publication it is a great way of you, the community, supporting the growth of Marom whilst simultaneously receiving a hard copy that demonstrates exactly what Marom is so good at. Whilst Marom’s focus is young adults, it is clear that this aim has important ramifications for the entire community. If we successfully reintegrate the young adults back into the Masorti community we will ensure a vibrant future for the movement. Please show your support for this project by going onto our golden giving page here and pre-ordering your publication.

Posted on 15 January 2015

This blog aims to provide articles of interest on the weekly parashah and issues in Masorti Judaism, representing the full range of diverse views that exist among Masorti members. For guidance on any of the issues raised, please consult your rabbi.

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