What is Jewish Renewal?

Jewish Renewal is a transdenominational approach to revitalizing Judaism.

We combine the socially progressive values of egalitarianism, the joy of Hasidism, the informed do-it-yourself spirit of the havurah movement, and the accumulated wisdom of centuries of tradition.

We value deep ecumenism; in Hillel’s words, we learn from every person and spiritual tradition.

We create innovative, accessible, and welcoming prayer experiences.

We shape halacha (Jewish law) into a living way of walking in the world.

And we seek to deepen the ongoing, joyful, and fundamental connection, with a God who connects us all, which is at the heart of Jewish practice.

Renewal is an attitude, not a denomination, and offers tools to all branches of Judaism, including:

  • An emphasis on accessible spiritual experience;
  • Contemplative practices (Jewish Renewal teachers were the first to recover meditative practices from the dusty attic of Jewish tradition, and to return them to their rightful place as central Jewish spiritual technologies);
  • Davvenology, the art and practice of being a living laboratory for creative and renewed Jewish prayer, in modalities including chant and embodied prayer;
  • Sage-ing, trainings and tools for rethinking aging as a journey of unearthing wisdom;
  • Hashpa’ah (spiritual direction) as a tool for unpacking the holy potential of every moment and for discerning the voice of God.

Renewal seeks to balance forward-thinking with backward-compatibility. We know we can’t drive if we’re only looking in the rear-view mirror, but neither can we move forward if we don’t know where we’ve been.

Four Worlds Judaism

Eighteen Principles