בית הלוי Beit HaLevi שירותי כשרות Kosher Services Museum of Ours

Who we are,

Mission statement — Foundation of Ours is devoted to meeting the material and spiritual needs of Jewish expression in the Kurdistan Region, and providing platforms for reconciliation, coexistence, and cohesion with non-Jewish communities.

Vision statement — Foundation of Ours envisions a Jewish presence in the Kurdistan Region that is a core component of reconciliation, coexistence, and cohesion for all.

Our three goals,

א — Establish and maintain Beit HaLevi in Erbil.
ב — Establish and maintain Kosher Services in Erbil.
ג — Establish and maintain Museum of Ours in Erbil.

Our one space,

Our three goals are envisioned as being realized in one physical building built to last for hundreds of years, with three wings surrounding around a central courtyard with eco-friendly planting and irrigation.

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Stay up-to-date,

News Objectives

To contact us, please reach out at +1-424-248-7101 or at info@ours.foundation


Governance Articles of Incorporation Bylaws

בית הלוי Beit HaLevi

Mission statement — Beit HaLevi provides a Sefer Torah with an appropriate housing for the use of congregants and pilgrims.

שירותי כשרות Kosher Services

Mission statement — Kosher Services provides dining, lodging, and logistics in Erbil and the broader Kurdistan Region that are completely kosher to support congregants and pilgrims, as well as foster reconciliation and cultural knowledge with the general public.

Museum of Ours

Mission statement — Museum of Ours is based in Erbil and operates in the broader Kurdistan Region, Nineveh Plains, and federal Iraq. We strive to set new standards in communicating the history of our region from ancient times to the present day. Our approaches are research-based and compelling, in order for our audiences to better understand this region's diverse communities including their own. This empowers intellectualization, awareness, and inclusion, as well as disempowers outrage, misinformation, and exclusion.

Stay in the loop via WhatsApp, Facebook, and the Museum of Ours podcast.

Our specialized approach

Museum of Ours uses a unique blend of research, events, and acquisitions to achieve objectives and fulfill goals.

Research requires identifying key demographics, contacting their leaders, recording testimonies, and interpreting the results. Findings are disseminated through iteratively developed events. Ultimately, a database of in-depth and highly granular research will be continually developed over decades.

Events require regularly organizing public, semi-public, and totally digital events. Feedback is used to help improve events. Most events are two-hour discussion-oriented seminars, but some are multi-day object-oriented exhibitions. Ultimately, the events should develop into Kurdish, Arabic, and English curriculum.

Acquisition require ongoing collecting of objects. The focus is on the concepts of reconciliation and repatriation. Ultimately, objects must have “social lives” that improve the world around them. However, there is no permanent space yet.

Large amounts of multimedia, with widespread distribution. This requires production of high-quality photography and videography. Over 10,000 photos have been uploaded to Wikimedia. These photos have mostly been used in academia, but also in news and within communities themselves. They have also been used by the Kurdistan Region’s executive cabinet.

Research database

Check it out at database.ours.foundation. The entire CMS is built from scratch and available for free on Github for use on your own projects.

Physical space

The physical space should have: exhibition galleries, study room, and archive/storage; community area with refreshments; semi-enclosed portico with booth for quiet study, studio work, meetings; staging area for music performances, as music fosters interest and common ground; and lodging for employees.

Current news

Ongoing collecting.
During the coronavirus crisis, acquisitions are still ongoing. Although we are moving toward our goal of acquiring land, all religious gatherings are on hold.

Past news

Combined History of Fire: An Exhibition Covering 900BC to Today
2020 Jan 24-25, Mr. Erbil, Erbil. RSVP

The Islam of Kurdistan: From Salahaddin to Gaylani and Effendi
2020 Jan 08, Book Café, Erbil. RSVP

By the river Tigris: Hanukah in Duhok
2019 Dec 28 and 29, Duhok. RSVP (private)

Stronger Together: Hanukah and Shabbat in Erbil
2019 Dec 27, Erbil. RSVP (private)

Churches of Mesopotamia: Syriac, Chaldean, and Assyrian
2019 Dec 16, Book Café, Erbil. RSVP

Multiculturalism and Reconciliation and the Jewish Community
2019 Dec 08, American Corner, Duhok. RSVP

Speaking engagement
Dubai.

By the Rivers of Babylon: The Jews of Erbil and Mesopotamia
2019 Nov 12, American Corner, Erbil. RSVP

Abrahamic: On Jews, Judaism, and Being Jewish
2019 Nov 09, Book Café, Erbil. RSVP

Around each corner: Walking tour of Erbil's ancient lower city
2019 Nov 02, Erbil. RSVP

10,000 BC to Today: A Combined History of Erbil
2019 Sep 25, American Corner, Erbil. RSVP

Passover + Shabbat + Erbil
2019 Apr 26, Erbil. RSVP (private)

Speaking engagement
Tokyo.

Gorgeous, mesmerizing Erbil: Walking tour of the lower city
2019 Apr 05, Erbil. RSVP (private)

Coffee, objects, and a combined history of Erbil
2019 Feb 20, Book Café, Erbil. RSVP (private)

Tour and lunch at the Erbil Civilization Museum!
2019 Jan 30, Erbil Civilization Museum, Erbil. RSVP (private)

Chanukah!
2018 Dec 07, Erbil. RSVP (private)

Passover + Shabbat <3 Erbil
2018 Mar 30, Erbil. RSVP (private)

Chanukah + Shabbat
2017 Dec 15, Erbil. RSVP (private)

Passover in Erbil
2017 Apr 10, Erbil. RSVP (private)

Pêseh le Hewlêr || Passover in Erbil
2016 Apr 22, Erbil. RSVP (private)

Our objectives

א — Incorporate as a religious nonprofit in the United States, and the Kurdistan Region. This requires establishing articles of incorporation, establishing bylaws, recruiting boardmembers, and incorporating in Maine and Erbil.

ב — Consolidate a local network of heritage professionals and enthusiasts. This requires fostering a sense of community and engaging people in the network with the mission statement.

ג — Establish an online and media-friendly presence for the Foundation. This means distributing press releases, improving the research database, and looking at digital initiatives.

Objectives for Beit HaLevi

א — Recruit Rabbis to advise on what is needed to have a Sefer Torah and accompanying housing, and prepare a series of objectives based on this advice.

ב — Identify the process for purchasing land and registering it to a religious organization.

Objectives for Kosher Services

א — Recruit Rabbis to advise on what is needed for a café and guesthouse to be kosher: prepare a prioritized list of these needs; and cross-check with potential visitors about their expectations.

ב — Begin to import necessary items based on the prioritized list.

ג — Identify a process for sponsoring visas for pilgrims to the Kurdistan Region: look at hurdles in the Kurdistan Region government; and look at hurdles in non-KR governments.

Objectives for Museum of Ours

א — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an emphasis will be placed on digital events such as weekly podcasts. Awareness about the Museum will be raised through press releases and pursuing media coverage.

ב — Identify and publicize local heritage institutions’ short-term needs. Fulfill these needs when possible, e.g. pamphlets, leaflets, and digital presence.

ג — Digitize the entire collection of objects acquired so far. Raise awareness with publication of materials produced via digitization.

ד — Reach 10,000 published photos on Wikimedia.

Governance

Foundation of Ours is a religious nonprofit organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and the Maine Nonprofit Corporation Act of the State of Maine. It is governed by its Board of Directors and by five officers: a President, a Clerk, a Treasurer, a Lead Rabbi, and a Museum Officer.

Because of the small size of Foundation of Ours, all officers are also on the Board of Directors. In addition to these Directors, there are non-officers bringing the number of Directors to __ (__) in total. Directors come from a range of faiths including Judaism, Ezidism, and Islam.

Beit HaLevi, Kosher Services, and Museum of Ours are equipped with their own mission statements and objectives and their own public brands and social media channels. However, they are goals of the Foundation and as such they must operate within the Foundation’s mission and must not hinder the Foundation’s other goals or objectives. Additionally, they are not a separate legal entities from the Foundation and do not have authority separate from nor over the Foundation.

Articles of Incorporation

Bylaws