Code of Respectful Religious Pluralism

Respectful guidelines for Transdenominational Jewish Gatherings

Reclaiming Judaism programs draw together Jews from across the spectrum of Jewish identity, ideology and practice. The kavannah, intention, in being together is to support one another to grow, learn, heal and live as Jews.

We ask that each participant honor, nourish, support, and respect everyone here for the place they currently choose as theirs in the spectrum of Jewish possibility.

Try to speak in the first person about your own experiences, needs, and views. Each person here is a member of the Jewish people to be treated with kavod, "respect" and is allowed the integrity of their choices.

We ask that you maintain a respectful presence and that you lend your energetic self to helping leaders and participants to do well what they are attempting. You will receive the same courtesy.

If someone offers a prayer, opinion or a behavior which does not speak to your current Jewish "comfort-zone," please refrain from criticizing them. They are representing themselves and their own experiences, needs, and views, not yours. When you express yourself, you might use the method Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi taught of using the word "and" rather than "but."

No one is asked to engage in a behavior that would violate the version of Judaism you choose to follow. However, as an adult, you are responsible for taking care of your own needs. Do not expect the group program or lesson plan to be changed for you. 

You can recite quietly to yourself any additions to prayers, services or rituals that you might require,. Be careful not to disturb anyone else's consciousness, as you take care of your own needs.

Simply refrain from doing, praying or singing anything that does not express Judaism as you need it to be manifested. All of us will have moments like this during our time together.

Sometimes you might choose to do your customary spiritual practices in the privacy of your own room. We hope you will then attend community prayer as a commitment to those engaged in this experience with you and as a cultural experience for yourself, rather than as fulfillment of your religious requirements.

It is not a goal of this program to replicate or serve any particular part of the spectrum. Each program leader also has the freedom of the integrity of their own comfort-zone.

Most of all, we hope you will be able to feel awe and pride at the breadth of expression of the Jewish people and pleasure at your own Jewish growth, gifts and connection to being Jewish.