Many Unitarian Universalists (UUs) have a connection to Judaism. Whether we are ethnically, culturally, or spiritually Jewish, whether we're married to a Jewish person, or simply inspired by Jewish wisdom, we have a place in Unitarian Universalism. One of the six sources we draw upon in our worship and religious education is "Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves."
We honor Jewish holidays with a progressive and inclusive twist. UUs with Jewish heritage hold Passover seders, celebrate Hanukkah, and mark the High Holy Days. When we worship together, Judaism comes into play in a variety of ways depending on the congregation. In the fall our Sunday services often draw on themes from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Our winter holiday-themed services often tell the story of Hanukkah. In the spring, we tell the stories of Moses and the Exodus, and some congregations gather around an all-ages all-faiths table to join in a celebratory Passover Seder led by Jewish UUs. Any time of year in our congregations, we may hear wisdom from the Bible, some midrash, a Hasidic tale, or a funny story from a Jewish culture.
Our programs for children involve young people in learning about Judaism through stories, rituals, and visits to synagogues. We teach respect for all faiths, and develop basic literacy in the world's religions as well as Unitarian Universalism. As a home for interfaith families, we nurture kids with multiple identities and help them grow.
It can often seem strange for someone with Jewish heritage to participate in a congregation that calls itself a "church." The word "church" has more to do with Unitarian Universalism's history than with our current beliefs. (Though a few of our congregations have a strong liberal Christian identity—find a congreation near you to see how they honor diverse backgrounds and beliefs.)
No one needs change their beliefs or identity in order to be UU. We are people of many beliefs, honoring each person's heritage and search for truth.
Explore Jewish Connections
From UUWorld Magazine:
Text of Pamphlets:
- "Discovering Unitarian Universalism from Catholic and Jewish Perspectives" (order)
- "Can We Find a Home Here? Answering Questions of Interfaith Couples" (order)
- UU Views of the Bible (order)
Connect with Jewish UUs: Unitarian Universalists for Jewish Awareness