Over a nearly two year process, these values were drafted and revised by the Visioning Team, with input from all members. The values were adopted by unanimous vote on Sunday, December 17, 2023. Together, they form our community brit (covenant) that members make with each other, and that leadership makes with the community.  

CJC refers to Rabbi Miriam, Core Teams, working groups, and any other person or group working in a official capacity on behalf of the community. Members refers to each individual who has chosen to be a member of CJC.

Together we aim to create a home for each other and to care for one another as mishpacha (family). We recognize that we need one another and are stronger together. 

CJC strives to foster connections between members and joyfully welcome people into our community. Working together, we build organizational structures, programming, and a culture that values the needs, perspectives, gifts, and capacity of each member. Our goal is that no one ever feels pressured to offer more to the community than they can give. We honor the many ways that members build our community, be it through time, money, knowledge, leadership, art, or numerous other ways.

As members, we endeavor to joyfully welcome people into our community and expand our circles. We commit to the collective co-creation of our community, participating and leading in ways that feel meaningful and doable to each of us. We recognize that each person has their own gifts, talents, passions, and capacities, and we honor the many ways that members build our community.

We recognize every human being as worthy of respect and dignity. This worthiness is intrinsic to human existence; each person reflects the beauty of the divine.

CJC actively rejects the capitalist, racist, ableist concept that a person must work or create something of value to others in order to have value themselves. We affirm the beauty and strength of diverse community.

As members, we strive for intentional inclusion and honor every person, including those who have been most often marginalized.

As a community, we show up for each other in times of joy and sorrow, recognizing that each of us will need help at some point. Through care, kindness, and generosity, we create a web of support.

CJC strives to create a space where members feel safe asking for what they need. We will provide structures that enable and encourage community members to support one another.

As members, we commit to supporting each other within our capacity at any given moment. We recognize that each of us can offer support in different ways, such as providing home-cooked or takeout meals, showing up for a shiva minyan, or contributing financially. We acknowledge that it can be hard to ask for help and that we will endeavor to do so.

Respectful disagreement and debate are central to Judaism. The Mishnah teaches: “disagreements for the sake of Heaven (makhloket l’shem Shamayim) will endure” (Pirkei Avot 5:17). We recognize that disagreement is natural, and seek always to respect each other’s dignity and humanity in the midst of disagreement.

CJC commits to honoring the differences in our worldviews, life experiences, and perspectives, and the ways those can lead us to differing conclusions. We recognize that conflict is an inevitable but often generative process, allowing us to refine our actions, ideas, and processes in ways that uplift our community and the wider world.

As members, we strive to root ourselves in a place of respect, curiosity, and compassion in all of our interactions with one another, both positive and challenging. We encourage each other to speak up, question, and disagree, in a respectful and compassionate manner, in ways that lead to learning, growth, and justice.

Being human, we know that we are imperfect and will make mistakes, sometimes harming others despite our best intentions. We commit to acknowledging and repairing harm we have caused, and learning how not to repeat it. 

CJC believes in the power of tochecha (calling in) and that everyone is capable of tshuvah (atonement and growth). As a community, we strive to foster an atmosphere where we can engage in these processes interpersonally and institutionally.

As members, we strive to hold each other accountable in ways that respect each other’s inherent worth. We work to repair harm in ways that restore relationships whenever possible.

“Tzedek tzedek tirdof, justice justice shall you pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). We commit to a Judaism rooted in the inherent worth and liberation of all people.

CJC affirms the Yiddish socialist concept of doikayt (hereness) – that we are interconnected with, committed to, and in solidarity with our neighbors and the place we live. Our lives are bound up with each other and the Earth, and we commit to approaching justice through an intersectional lens.

As members, we recognize that while the oppressions faced by different communities are unique, our liberation is intertwined. We commit to support each other in the face of these oppressions and not invalidate the varied experiences of others.

Shabbat invites us into a radical and sacred practice of self and communal care. We affirm that, whether it’s on shabbes or another day of the week, we all need and deserve rest.

CJC commits to being a place you can come to for rest. We recognize that in a capitalist ableist society, it is deeply countercultural to put down our work, and we strive to make it easier for our members to do so in whatever way feels meaningful to them.

As members, we recognize and honor each other’s rest and Shabbat practices. We seek to cultivate our individual and collective capacity to carve out time for rest and renewal. 

All that is living is constantly changing, adapting, and evolving. We believe in a dynamic, living Judaism, through which we reclaim old customs and experiment with new practices. We recognize that CJC was born through experimentation, and that we learn by trying new things even when they don’t work out.

CJC strives to provide a safe space within which to experiment with new practices and ideas, even – or especially – when it’s uncomfortable. We know that experimentation can be intimidating, and we commit to transparency around the implementation of new structures and processes.

As members, we are here to support each other through the discomfort that is a part of all growth and the inevitable mistakes we will make along the way. We commit to keeping an open mind about practices that are new to us and structural changes at CJC.

Judaism is a tradition of constant and collective learning. Through learning we deepen our relationships with ourselves, each other, and Jewish tradition. 

CJC approaches learning as a way to explore Jewish beliefs and practices, engage in the work of liberation, and wrestle with what it means to be human in this messy world. We value different kinds of learning, including text-based, cultural, political, experiential, and earth-based modalities.

As members, we value the wisdom of different experiences and perspectives, and learn from the different ways people practice and experience Judaism. 

We recognize that joy and sorrow often come together and that both are part of what it means to be human. We know that many of us struggle to tap into our own emotions and that capitalism insists we never pause to feel joy or grief. 

CJC seeks to create space for the full range of human feeling, to cultivate our collective and individual capacity to experience all of our emotions, and to support each other through the ups and downs.

As members, we recognize that emotions can be difficult to navigate and strive to provide space and support for each other in times of high emotion.