Jewish Unitarian Universalists

A prepared seder plate with orange slices in the center.

This progressive Passover seder plate features an orange: a symbol of women's leadership and LGBTQ inclusion.

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:

Connect with Jewish UUs: Unitarian Universalists for Jewish Awareness

Book cover for Jewish Voices in Unitarian Universalism.

In Jewish Voices in Unitarian Universalism, 20 writers explore the blessings and challenges of Jewish Unitarian Universalist identity and community. Essayists include born Jews who came to Unitarian Universalism, Unitarian Universalists who adopted Judaism as a spiritual path, and life-long Unitarian Universalists with Jewish heritage.

A person holds the book Being Both against their chest.

Many Jewish interfaith families find a home in Unitarian Universalism. Our Beacon Press's Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family celebrates the growing number of interfaith families who choose to raise children in more than one faith.

The flame of the chalice symbolizes Unitarian Universalist commitment to the Seven Principles.

Young woman holding sunflowers with more UUs in background at 2014 People's Climate March in New York City.

Jubilant audience members dance during the Service of the Living Tradition.