Several people have come out of the woodwork, wondering about the implications of the suggested restructuring of the Givat Shmuel Community, even questioning the need for a community at all. Here is an attempt to address the concerns we’ve heard so far.
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What are the proposed changes for the GSC?
As mentioned, we are transitioning to a grassroots, community-driven structure from a model where the charismatic few tried to do everything themselves. Anyone can get involved. Through varied individual motivations and diverse community representation, we believe we can do a lot more for specific groups, instead of the old approach which tried to force individual interests to become uniform.
What’s wrong with the current community structure?
Nothing… and everything. On the shoulders of a motivated few, the Givat Shmuel Community has grown beyond imagination. However, this growth has had its consequences. Over the last two years, we’ve fragmented into over 5 communities that don’t communicate or interact, and barely acknowledge each other’s existence. New people are falling through the cracks and the needs of entire groups of people are being neglected. We’re in danger of losing everything that made our community great – and something needs to be done.
How will these changes help me / my group / etc.?
Committees will ideally be diverse and have members from all the various subgroups in Givat Shmuel, ensuring full representation and attentiveness to their needs. The grassroots nature of these committees means that it is easy to get support for your specific need.
Already, we are working with individuals to create comprehensive student resources, a babysitter database, classifieds for promoting community-driven business and services, an Anglo minyan, shiurim for all levels and interests, and more.
My Shabbat meals are planned, and I already have a close group of friends. Why do I need a community?
You’re part of the community whether you realize it or not. For years people moved to the GSC because of the Anglo community. Your close friends, your Shabbat guests, your English-speaking department head, hairdresser, and favorite bank-teller are all products of that. It is the community that fought for your test translations, English Zumba classes, even the kav Layla to Tel Aviv. With your help, it can be so much more.
No one is stopping you from taking an isolationist attitude; no one is forcing you to join something you don’t identify with. The GSC was here before you, and will be here long after you’ve moved on. It’s your decision if you want to be part of shaping the community’s future, getting the most that you can out of the community, and ensuring future Gabashers get the quality community and family-like support that each of us takes for granted.
How can I get involved?
Be vocal with your feedback, get involved in a committee, and make your voice heard. There’s already a lot to be done, and we’re just getting started!