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Set 'Em Up Joe: The Synagogue as Corner Cafe

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Publication Date: July 2009

Publisher(s): National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (U.S.)

Author(s): Andrew Silow-Carroll

Series: CLAL Community and Society Archive

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Friendship; Synagogues; Jewish Organizations; Affiliation

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


The author analyzes the popularity of Starbucks and attributes its popularity to the fact that it has become a "third place" for many. A "third place," he describes, is a haven away from work and home that provides relaxation and fosters laid-back, casual friendships. The author then asserts that what many need is a synagogue that becomes their third place, mimicking the rising Cafe culture. Such a synagogue would be a place where individuals pray together, and joke and speak with one another afterwards.