HaMakom is a place to experience, develop and practise compassion, wisdom, gratitude, humility, kindness and love. It is a place for contemplation, reflection and mindful meditation. A place for connecting to ourselves and a place to be with ourselves, just as we are.
HaMakom was founded 10 years ago because many British Jews felt the need to develop or rediscover the gentle and loving side of Judaism. Our activities include both non-religious events and events which weave together loving-kindness, mindfulness practise and familiar Jewish services.
Our founder, Rabbi Danny Newman, knew immediately that he wanted to give this new Jewish space the name ‘HaMakom’. It is a name with many meanings in Jewish history. The Hebrew word literally means ‘the place’. ‘HaMakom’ is one of the names of the Divine, a name that is used to teach us that Divinity is in each and every place, thing and person on the world. This is a spiritual message we at HaMakom love.
HaMakom also means ‘refuge’ For the Jews of Europe, Amsterdam was known as ‘HaMakom’ (‘the place of refuge’). Alone in continental Europe, Amsterdam was open and tolerant of Jews, and many Jews fled there to seek refuge from oppression – and to enjoy the equality, security, justice and opportunity promised by the Dutch Crown.
Rabbi Danny wanted to create a refuge just as powerful for today’s Jews, as many of us are struggling with the oppression, isolation and spiritual meaninglessness of (post)-modernity. A refuge where Jews could encounter the Divine, community, each other and our own selves.