What is Jewish Renewal?
Wrapped in a Holy Flame
Jewish Renewal is a post-denominational approach to Judaism that is open and welcoming to all. A socially progressive, non-triumphalist approach to Judaism, Jewish Renewal encompasses deep ecumenism (an appreciation of different Jewish denominations as well as an appreciation of other religions), Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), and encouraging the practice of eco-kashrut (seeking awareness and respect for the planet's needs).
B'nai Or of Boston is a Jewish Renewal community that engages those of us seeking to deepen our ongoing and unfolding relationship with God through "davenology"-- understanding of the meaning and relevance of traditional prayer while connecting with God through heart-centered, personal prayer and contemplative practices such as mindfulness and meditation. Reb Zalman, z”l, the founding father of Jewish Renewal, taught that by embracing the “spiritual technologies” found in Jewish tradition and Hasidism, the gates of spiritual insight and possibility can open, bringing us closer to developing a knowledge of the Divine, however we may understand it, ourselves, and the Oneness of all.
A Jewish Renewal service is often described as engaging, spiritual, creative, innovative, relevant, joyous,
and accessible. Davening (praying), music and chant, meditation, and movement are all important
components of a Jewish Renewal service and are joyfully included. Our community also pursues the
study of Torah, seeking to make it relevant to ourselves and our lives. The B'nai Or of Boston
community is inclusive and welcomes a wide diversity of lifestyles and family configurations.
Rabbi Zalman, z"l
Renewal embraces new paradigms without abandoning our sacred and cherished traditions.
~ Reb Zalman Schacter-Shalomi z”l ~