At any given time, there are more Jews not affiliated with the Jewish community than actively involved. To address this need for outreach to unengaged Jews, the Jewish Outreach Institute (JOI) has formed the Big Tent Judaism Coalition. The Coalition gives a voice to Jewish organizations that desire to be open and welcoming to all who approach and is the first such national initiative to connect across Jewish denominational and institutional lines. In its efforts to create a more welcoming Jewish community, Boulder Jewish Festival has joined the Big Tent Judaism Coalition.
By joining the Big Tent Judaism Coalition, Boulder Jewish Festival has committed to serving all Jewish households and embracing the diversity that comprises today’s Jewish community. Congregation Bonai Shalom, Pardes Levavot, and Beth Ami are also members of the coalition, as well as Denver groups including Judaism Your Way and Jewish Mosaic.
“Our Biblical forebears Abraham and Sarah opened their tent on all four sides and welcomed all who approached,”
says JOI Executive Director Rabbi Kerry Olitzky. “It’s time that we as a Jewish community follow their example and welcome all who cast their lot with the Jewish community into our midst.” The Big Tent Judaism Coalition provides an online directory of organizations committed to welcoming and including any individual or Jewish household—including the increasing numbers of interfaith couples and families, Jews of color and multiracial families, Jews-by-choice and members of the LGBT population—interested in engaging with the Jewish community. The site will also provide updated information about Jewish holidays and practices, as well as other resources that will help them navigate the Jewish community. For the communal professionals and lay leaders working inside member organizations of the Big Tent Judaism Coalition, the initiative offers networking, consultation, and best practices for welcoming those individuals and families.
More information about Big Tent Judaism is available online at www.BigTentJudaism.org.
The Jewish Outreach Institute (JOI)— is an independent, national, trans-denominational organization reaching out to unengaged and intermarried Jewish families, and helping the organized Jewish community better welcome them in. JOI conducts research, runs programs, and serves as a national training institution and network for outreach professionals, guiding and supporting innovative outreach in communities throughout North America.