Bold Judaism is...
We treat all who embrace our philosophy as full, equal members - whether or not they were born Jewish (under any definition), adopted Judaism or simply feel a kinship with our congregation. All members can participate in all activities - whether they are serving on our Board, teaching Religious School or helping lead services. If you consider yourself a family, so do we.
We recognize, celebrate and welcome that "family" encompasses many definitions. That's why Beth Adam has always had only one category of membership: the individual. We offer a welcoming home to single individuals, interfaith and same-sex couples.
We find new ideas invigorating rather than frightening. As new research sheds light on our ancestors and the evolution of our people, it forces us to reconsider what we know and how we understand our place in the world. No issue is off limits. No question is considered too challenging or sacrilegious.
Rather than an after-thought, science is literally built into the very fabric of our congregation. When we gather for services in our sanctuary, we bask in the glow of stained glass windows that represent the Big Bang, evolution and science. Our Ner Tamid - our eternal flame - is solar powered.
We believe that non-Jewish relatives who support members of our congregation should have the opportunity to fully participate in ceremonies that mark life-cycle events and celebrations. Non-Jewish relatives, for example, can participate in Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies by reading portions of the services or helping to pass the Torah.
We recognize and support the many ways that people define the term God. We also realize that this discussion has long been used to judge what someone does or does not believe. Core to our theological philosophy is that external forces do not solve the problems of our world. We are responsible for our actions, and we each bear responsibility for repairing our world.
We honor Jewish tradition by writing our own liturgy, appreciating that our ancestors wrote words that spoke to them. We have the right and responsibility to do the same. And thus, we say what we mean and mean what we say.
While we value our ancestors' creativity, we recognize that much of the literature they crafted in the Torah was legend and myth. We understand the power of their words, but we don't confuse them with historical facts.
We believe that Jewish education should be a lifelong endeavor. Our adult members learn, debate and grow through adult education classes, our guest speaker series and social events.
Responsible decision making is core to our (K-12) Religious School and Bar/Bat Mitzvah program. Rather than focusing on rote learning, we teach students to be thinkers who can evaluate and process ideas. Because we embrace diversity, every student feels equal and accepted.
We engage in tikkun olam, repairing the world and tzekadah, acts of kindness. In a world in which help does not come from elsewhere, we are all responsible for improving the planet and reaching out to those in need. Our religious philosophy urges us to work to improve that which we can.
We appreciate that practicing bold Judaism requires that we evolve. As the world changes and we gain new insights into the nature of our universe and ourselves, it is essential that Judaism evolves to reflect these new realities.