Chai Mitzvah Groups are Heating Up Jewish Life in Ann Arbor

By Marci Sukenic

“What do you want your Jewish life to look and feel like?” “What kind of learning and social action projects would be meaningful to you?” “What are your priorities in your Jewish being?” These are just some of the questions that were part of the discussions at some of the initial Chai Mitzvah groups that were launched in January and February, as part of the Jewish Federation’s new community engagement program.

Small cohorts, ranging from young adults to seniors in the community, are getting together for Chai Mitzvah.  Monthly themes, along with Chai Mitzvah prepared source books, guide the discussions, and groups are creating a warm community and heating up their Jewish life as they participate.  One of the Chai Mitzvah groups drew together 14 women on a frigid January night; the evening was full of laughter, meaningful discussion and plans for a rich Chai Mitzvah journey.  Participant Lara Kross is “looking forward to building community and engaging in social gatherings and mitzvah projects that encourage many different aspects of Judaism.”  Participants are planning for theme-based projects in the area of social action, ritual and learning.

There is a place for everyone in Chai Mitzvah.  Those who are interested, please contact Marci Sukenic, Chai Mitzvah Community Coordinator, at or visit

(Above) Alicia Simon, Melina Adler, Lara Kross, Alyse Tankanow, Jennifer Tankanow, and Michelle Stern-Samberg.

(Above) Chai Mitzvah participants: Carly Sorscher, Robyn Schmier, Jackie Lonn, Sarah Zagar, Leora Rubin, Jenna Goldenberg and Sarah Okin.