Since we are not directly affiliated with any of these groups, we merely present without recommending. The following is a sampling of the major Jewish communal organizations. For a more complete list, see the resources page at WWW.JEWISHFEDERATIONS.ORG. Major metropolitan areas often have a Jewish information and referral service.
Jewish Community Centers/JCC
JCC Association is the continental umbrella organization for the Jewish Community Center Movement, which includes more than 350 JCCs, YM-YWHAs, and camp sites in the U.S. and Canada. JCC Association offers a wide range of services and resources to help its affiliates to provide educational, cultural, social, Jewish identity-building, and recreational programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. JCC Association supports the largest network of Jewish early childhood centers and Jewish summer camps in North America, and is also a U.S. government accredited agency for serving the religious and social needs of Jewish military personnel through JWB Jewish Chaplains Council.
Society for Humanistic Judaism
Humanistic and Secular Jews understand Judaism as the human-centered history, culture, civilization, ethical values, and shared experience of the Jewish people. For us, the message of Jewish history is that we have the power and the responsibility to take control of our own lives.
The goals of the Federation and our constituent organizations are to reach out to secular and humanistic Jews and offer communities where we can affirm our Judaism, celebrate our Jewish identity, educate our children about their rich and vibrant heritage, and fully participate in Jewish life.
Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
It’s vibrant, varied and values-driven. It’s about Torah texts, holidays, tikkun olam (social justice), Israel, the arts and food (of course!). Jewish life in Reconstructionist communities combines the wisdom of tradition with contemporary insights and democratic ideals. Find a new tune for an ancient verse, a prayer for AIDS awareness on Shabbat, or a strategy for integrating spirituality and social action.
The great contribution of Reform Judaism is that it has enabled the Jewish people to introduce innovation while preserving tradition, to embrace diversity while asserting commonality, to affirm beliefs without rejecting those who doubt and to bring faith to sacred texts without sacrificing critical scholarship
Jewish renewal is a worldwide, transdenominational movement grounded in Judaism’s prophetic and mystical traditions. Jewish renewal carries forward Judaism’s perpetual process of renewal. Jewish renewal seeks to bring creativity, relevance, joy, and an all embracing awareness to spiritual practice, as a path to healing our hearts and finding balance and wholeness—tikkun halev. Jewish renewal acts to fully include all Jews and to respect all peoples. Jewish renewal helps to heal the world by promoting justice, freedom, responsibility, caring for all life and the earth that sustains all life —tikkun olam.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism is a community of kehillot – sacred communities – committed to a dynamic Judaism that is learned and passionate, authentic and pluralistic, joyful and accessible, egalitarian and traditional. Our kehillot create the conditions for a powerful and vibrant Jewish life, empowering Jews in North America to seek the presence of God, to seek meaning and purpose in Torah and mitzvot, to fully engage with Israel, and to be inspired by Judaism to improve the world and the Jewish people.
Modern Orthodox/Open Orthodoxy
In general, Modern Orthodoxy’s “overall approach.. is the belief that one can and should be a full member of modern society, accepting the risks to remaining observant, because the benefits outweigh those risks”.
The Workmen’s Circle
At the Workmen’s Circle, Jewish identity is not defined by or confined to religious beliefs. For us, identity and belonging are found in our heritage, values, ideals, language, cultural traditions and celebrations. We have been cultivating a proudly progressive, diverse and inclusive community rooted in Jewish culture and social action for more than a century.