In response to the evolving needs of Jews, a new paradigm for worship comes forth. The Union of Jewish Universalist Communities (UJUC) is a new Jewish movement- one that embraces the diversity of the Jewish world without judgment, conditions or requirements and asserts that all paths to the divine are equally holy. The Union of Jewish Universalist Communities (UJUC.org) is an organization that provides resources and connection to Jewish Universalist communities. These communities are trans-denominational, meaning that all Jewish denominations can be a part of the movement as long as they embrace the tenets of Jewish Universalism including welcoming everyone to fully participate in Jewish worship and rituals, a practice that is not embraced by most Jewish denominations.
Jewish Universalism was envisioned by Rabbi Steve Blane in 2010 when he launched Sim Shalom, an interactive, online Jewish Universalist synagogue. Rabbi Blane was joined by UJUC founders Rabbi Eran Bar Adon, Rabbi Ivan Browner and Rabbi Nancy Tunick to create from the ground up a movement that meets the needs of contemporary society, unaffiliated Jews and the interfaith community where all are welcome. UJUC Rabbis represent Jews across the nation and globe and reside in cities including Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Nashville, Tennessee; Boynton Beach, Florida, New York, New York, Boston, Massachusetts, Washington, DC and Tokyo, Japan.
The mission of the Union of Jewish Universalist Communities is to reach the millions of Jews around the world already innately practicing this form of Judaism and to share the wisdom, rituals and gifts of its traditions; to offer the understanding that we are not exclusive- but inclusive; to be guided by the fact that we are always learning and never know enough; and to realize that in modernity it is up to us to define how we live our faith guided by our love of Jewish tradition. “We like to think of Jewish Universalism as a Jazz song in which the players are free to improvise their melodies based on the emotion in their hearts and the technique in their fingers or voices,” says founder Rabbi Steven Blane.
Jewish Universalism espouses seven key doctrines:
JU honors our Jewish rituals, traditions, teachings and texts and seeks to repair the world, Tikkun Olam, through acts of loving kindness, G’milut Hasadim.
JU believes the Torah is divinely inspired and is holy.
JU is creedal and founded on the core statement “Hear oh Israel (and Humankind), the Lord is G-d, the Lord is One.”
JU believes all paths to the divine are equally holy and that one’s religion is not the sole and exclusive source of truth.
JU asserts that all people who follow the dictate to love your neighbor as yourself are “chosen.”
JU believes Judaism is a constantly evolving spiritual practice.
JU celebrates Interfaith Families and unconditionally welcomes all people to participate in our Jewish worship and rituals.