It goes without saying that the world we live in today is very fast paced. The biggest complaint I hear from friends on a regular basis is that they feel like there is too much going on and not enough time to get it all done. I certainly feel like that myself most weeks
We’ve got the chaos of our ever growing Things-To-Do lists for school, work, family, and friends, and a virtually endless stream of instant information coming our way in the form tweets, texts, and posts about anything and everything important, trivial, or just plain mundane. Our lives are moving very quickly, literally at the speed of light.
Amid all of this connection, sometimes, it is still extremely easy to feel disconnected. Sometimes, it is helpful just to Unplug.
Taking some time out of the already crowded canvas of our days for a little bit of relief can be quite important. A night “Under the Big Top” (this year’s theme) at Amberley Unplugged seemed just right.
|All Kinds of Treats Under the Big Top at Amberley Unplugged|
When I first arrived, I saw the tent and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was there with some really good friends of mine, and before we could actually make it into the tent, each one of us was stopped by someone grabbing us to say hi. I was astounded at the old friends I ran into during the course of the night. Some were people I have known for years and haven’t had the chance to see in a while. And, some are newer friends who have recently come into their own in the young adult crowd. It was wonderful to see them all.
Nicole Simon, whom I know from a community theater production we did together last year, picked up on this as well, saying, “I’m surprised at all the people I’m seeing here.” She also ran into so many unexpected friends from her high school years.
Because I was planning on writing this story, I interviewed a lot of people at the party. For me, the interviews that I did were a fantastic ice breaker to meeting so many new people. I will say that overall, there were a few consistent themes that seemed to come out of each conversation.
The first one was that everyone I talked to was amazed at how diverse the crowd was. Normally, we might not expect “diversity” to be the buzz word at Jewish young adult event. That’s a pretty specific demographic by nature. Yet, for that night it totally applied. There were single people, and married couples with kids, there were people in their 20’s who’ve never been to a YAD activity before, and people closer to 40, who remembered “Thirsty Thursdays”. There were people from every congregation in town and many people who do not attend services anywhere at all. For me, it was so wonderful and amazing to see people from all walks of Jewish life coming together to celebrate the end of the summer. Another partygoer, Jen Brahm, described the crowd as, “eclectic”.
Emily Mollineaux of Wyoming said, “I can’t believe that people say there is nothing happening in Cincinnati.” Amberley Unplugged even drew people from out of town, like Dmitriy Lovchinsky who traveled from Columbus to share in the fun.
|A few of the many partygoers who gathered in the Guigui's and Guttmans shared yard|
The second theme that emerged while I was interviewing people was that people want more events like this. Over and over again, people said that they wish there were more opportunities for young Jewish adults to socialize and just have a little fun. And, while there are groups for people to meet and socialize, and organizations like Access, the consensus was that there is plenty of room for more.
But on this one night, the YP’s of the Cincinnati Jewish Community were out in the warm August air, making some noise in Amberley and just kicking back amongst old friends and new ones.
Our lives are moving very fast. I know mine is, and from what I heard that night, other people’s are as well. Perhaps this is why the night was such a great success. It was refreshing to be able to stop and slow down, to talk to people face to face, no uploads necessary. We shared our most valuable asset together—our time..
That is what building a strong community is all about. I welcome the opportunity for more events like this one in the future. As for me, the little girl drawn into the Circus theme of the night welcomes as many parties as can fit in my calendar. I have a pretty big calendar.
Amberley Unplugged is brough to you by the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (YAD). YAD is a place to get connected and meet other Jewish young adults while giving back to the community, supporting Israel, and learning about the Jewish community. YAD offers programs and events with meaning, including social action, networking opportunities, and leadership development all with teh goal to identify and educate young adults to become active members of the Jewish community as future leaders and philanthropists. Check out YAD now!