Case Study: Co-Creation

The Jewish Manifesto

TitleHet Joods Manifest / The Jewish Manifesto
PartnerStichting Oy Vey
Duration1 year and counting (ongoing)
Team Members3
Stakeholders/Participants200+
Project TypeCo-Creation

This case study looks at an ongoing project that Tori is involved with as part of the (small) leadership team.

Project

The Jewish Manifesto, a co-creation project to identify pain points in Jewish life and expression in the Netherlands, opportunities, future directions, and to build community along the way.

The overview shows the design of a project to involve individuals in community-building, starting with conversations and opportunities for connection. The project is iterative, with continual check-ins. These check-ins can sometimes (but not too often!) lead to big changes in direction or approach. More often, they result in tweaks and revisions.

Messages and design are tested regularly on Instagram, where most people first hear of the project. This allows us to see in real time what gets attention from viewers. The design and messaging process is ongoing.

Partner

Co-creation with Oy Vey: A Netherlands-based organization with the mission to create a radically inclusive, fluid and dynamic Jewish movement that is part of a larger movement to re-vitalize Jewish life across Europe and to develop a community that is joyful, active, and meaningful.

Setting the scene

The Jewish community was decimated by the Holocaust. Seventy-five percent of Dutch Jews were murdered, the highest percentage in Western Europe. The survivors were not welcomed back into society and faced trauma, insecurity, and other negative aspects that still impact their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

As a result, the community became insular and private. Many people who may have wanted to find a way to be Jewish — Jewish and Queer, Jewish and anarchist, Jewish and Black, Jewish and transgender, Jewish and secular, and with a whole range of intersectionalities — felt as though they were on the outside of the gates. This is true both literally and metaphorically.

So, in response Stichting Oy Vey initiated a project called the Jewish Manifesto, which is a multi-year process to understand the needs of Jewish people, their friends and partners, and those who have a connection to Jewishness through a recent ancestor.

What we are doing

  • Organizing and moderating a series of conversations online and in-person that allow people to express themselves on a variety of topics. Each session has a guiding question and some source material to get the discussion going.
  • Collecting and analyzing the results of those conversations.
  • Reaching out to existing groups, people who have been made to feel unwelcome in institutions for whatever reason, and across generations and social and economic class.
  • Checking in with participants and staying connected.
  • Creating a visual identity, a communications voice, and a website.
  • Sharing quotes from the discussions online (with permission and anonymously), via social media and blog posts.
  • Preparing the manifesto itself and the commentary on the manifesto.
  • Working with a web developer to create the online “container” for the manifesto.
  • Preparing a launch festival for 2024, with food, music, theater, and other cultural events.

This project has become one that builds community. It brings people together, and is leading to more opportunities for expression, connection, and shared activism.

Results

The project is ongoing. As a consequence, the results are still at their early stages. To date, we have found an increase in participation in other Oy Vey activities. Additionally, participants are connecting with each other and with other Jewish organizations in the Netherlands (building Jewish community).

The project is drawing Europe-wide attention and there are plans for rolling it out in at least one other European location in the coming year.


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