The San Diego Jewish Journal has a great feature story this month on the Big Tent Judaism Coalition, our advocacy platform which calls on synagogues and Jewish institutions to engage and support all those seeking a welcoming and inclusive Jewish community.
Just over two years old, Big Tent Judaism already has 300 members who have made the pledge to follow our framework of 10 Principles that facilitate a more open and welcoming community. These include: Welcome All Newcomers; Celebrate Diversity; Offer “Free Samples”; Deepen Jewish Engagement; Provide Quality “Customer Service”; Lower Barriers to Participation; Increase Points of Access; Create Partnerships; Enlist Active Members for Outreach; and Better Best Practices.
While we’re delighted with the growth and the enthusiasm for the coalition, the article notes we still have a lot of work to do – especially on the West coast. Paul Golin, JOI’s associate executive director, said despite our success we’re still in the recruitment stage, but as the Coalition continues to attract more institutions word will spread.
This is true, especially with the High Holidays right around the corner. We know this is the one of the few times of year when unaffiliated folks willingly walk through our doors, so we have an amazing opportunity to engage with them. Now is a good time for synagogues to take a look at Big Tent Judaism to discover what we have to offer. “The principles of Big Tent Judaism are intended to help remove the unnecessary barriers we’ve erected that keep many people from participating in communal life,” Paul said. Let’s start the Jewish New Year off right by making sure our doors are open and we are doing everything we can to get people excited about being a part of the Jewish community.
If you would like to be counted among those who are working to shape a more inclusive Jewish community, join the big tent coalition by signing up or contacting Paul Golin at PGolin@JOI.org. We look forward to hearing from you!