By Josh Nelson, Founder of The Warehouse
Sometimes, all you need is to find a doorway...
I suppose that none of us end up where we expect... that the life plan we imagine when we're children becomes, for most, a lovely bit of nostalgia. I didn't expect to be here, but here I am. Like each of us, I am a unique product of environment, surroundings, culture, family, and faith. I am an artist; a prayer leader; a composer; an educator. I am an American Jew, and I want to change the world for the better in any way that I can.
I feel fortunate to be able to do the work I do... it's fulfilling, challenging, and never the same from day to day. I dream big dreams, and try to pick up the skills along the way to turn them into reality. The PresenTense fellowship is a crash course in bringing ideas to life, and I'm honored and fortunate to have the chance to birth this venture while being guided and advised by such a brilliant, caring team.
Looking back on the path that led me to this moment, I can see that amidst a very challenging environment, I found a mission. (Or, perhaps, the mission found me). For years, I wandered through life without a spiritual connection. I didn't just doubt - I rejected, and planned for a long career featuring a professorship and a tweed coat. Somehow, Jewish music and prayer re-opened a door that had been locked for a very long time. I changed course, and left a Doctoral degree dangling in the wind. I was suddenly focused, aware and alive… looking at daily life with a different pair of eyes.
What I saw was a generation that was Judaically disenfranchised; disconnected, homeless, and lacking a center. I feel connected to this group because I was once a part of it. By a strange twist of fate, I found my way back, and it changed my life. And, I want that for others. My venture, The Warehouse, is a personal attempt to provide others with that point of entry. Everyone deserves an open door.
PresenTense NYC Fellowship
Igniting social change in the NYC Jewish community.