We met Micki at our RESCAPE program last summer in Szarvas, Hungary and we truly feel that this meeting was beshert. Micki Weinberg is a Berlin based film maker and writer. Born in Los Angeles, he graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. He left the U.S. to study Talmud at the Mir Yeshiva, and then pursue graduate studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he focused on intertextuality in ancient Jewish literature. Weinberg
worked at Goldman Sachs from 2007-2010 in London and Switzerland. Since quitting in 2010, Weinberg has dedicated himself to making amends for his soul selling time in the banking world through his work in avant garde film, theater, and critical essay writing. Micki has been leading Jewish text based study groups in Berlin and other cities since 2011. In 2018 Micki scaled the program to become SHIUR an international text based study group project.
We believe Micki brings something new to the Jewish world and we’re happy to support this project and see it really take off. Micki joined us in Milan for The Junction Annual 2018: PLURALITY and lead a SHIUR session on Pluralism to rave reviews from our participants and we’ve loved seeing how people in the Junction community have invited Micki to their home communities and introduced a new level of textual engagement that captivates and stimulates. If you’d like to bring Micki to your community or want to find out more you can get in touch through Facebook.
Q. What was has been your key takeaway from SHIUR?
A. That there is a craving, both among the affiliated and unaffiliated, for serious intellectual engagement with primary textual sources. Who would have thought that in the age of Instagram and Snapchat, in a city like Berlin with a killer nightlife, we would get over 40 young people to give up their Friday night, sit by candle light with their smartphones off, and passionately discuss passages from Theodor Adorno, the Talmud, Martin Buber and Aldous Huxley?
Q. What lead you to reach out to Junction?
A. I recognized that Junction reflects the better side of the shared economy, where Jewish programming can organically develop bottom up, based on the needs and original ideas of Jewish activists and visionaries, particularly those outside of the existing Jewish institutional structures.
Q. What surprised you about the planning process?
A. The ease in which one is able to leverage synergies from other Junction participants.
Q. What was your Jewish involvement in the past?
A. I’ve been involved with Jewish life since the Friday evening I was born on, when my father and mother celebrated Shabbat around me in the hospital. Ever since then, Jewish tradition has been the frame through which I experience life, whether consciously or not.
Q. What is your Jewish involvement now?
A. Besides doing my best to observe a lifestyle immersed in the Jewish tradition and to be shomer torah umitzvot, I lead shiurim… both through my project SHIUR as well as a guest speaker in other Jewish events. As a filmmaker and writer, many of my works have Jewish themes or are motivated by Jewish ideas.
Q. What excites you about the Jewish future?
A. There is a whole generation of young Jewish people that are reconnecting with Jewish thought and heritage. They already come from a rich secular background and culture–that includes everything from groundbreaking HiTech creations to Burning Man. This generation is well traveled and well read, but not always spiritually well fed. It will be exciting to see the result of this encounter. What new ideas will come forth? What spiritual innovations will be developed? Who will be the Franz Rosenzweigs and Martin Bubers of the Facebook generation?
Q. What’s next for you?
A. SHIUR is only at the beginning. We already have active groups in London, Berlin, and Jerusalem. I’m excited to strengthen existing circles and spread the SHIUR revolution beyond Berlin. We have some exciting SHIUR events coming up this summer, in Paris, Stockholm, and of course, my beloved Berlin. Those interested to learn more, can join the SHIUR Facebook group, where events are posted.
Junction micro grants are awarded to innovative, engaging young adult community projects and can range from $1000 to $5000.
If you have a new program idea such as a celebration of a Jewish holiday or a Jewish social event and want to make it happen, find out more here!