Community farms proposed for Jews

By Keren David, March 25, 2010

Community farms, dining and hiking clubs, ways of bringing Jewish neighbours together, a Jewish archive - just some of the notions that came out of a day of brainstorming new ideas for the Jewish community.

The NuMa event, held in King's Cross, London on Sunday, was, according to organiser Kevin Sefton, "the opposite of Dragons' Den. There, all the attention is on the dragons who judge the ideas. This was all about creating and developing ideas."

Mr Sefton, a management consultant, pointed to the huge success of Limmud, of which he is a trustee. "There are some great innovations created by our community, and also organisations which come up with money to incubate new ideas. But there seemed to be nowhere to aid anyone coming up with new ideas."

NuMa was open to anyone with an interest in the Jewish community, and was backed by organisations including Jeneration and the UJIA.

Mr Sefton said: "One idea was to re-define Jewish communities, so the emphasis is on what we share, instead of the synagogue affiliation which may divide us. Another was a Jewish archive, perhaps linked to the newly reopened Jewish Museum in Camden, a way of sharing our knowledge about our families and history.

"The emphasis was on things that we enjoy. Antisemitism was not mentioned. Too many initiatives are created to solve other people's problems."

The name NuMa comes from the Yiddish enquiry "nu", plus the Hebrew for "what". There is now a website -

Participant Dan Jacobs said: "I found it a rewarding experience, which I have not had before in the Jewish community. I believe that NuMa could become the source of some really original and worthwhile initiatives."

Last updated: 2:23pm, March 25 2010