Judaism Your Way

Building an open tent for Jews and loved ones to explore Judaism through free High Holy Days services, life event officiation, b’nai mitzvah education, and holiday celebrations 

Judaism Your Way (JYW) encourages, well, exactly that. The Colorado organization builds an open tent for Jews and loved ones to explore Judaism through free High Holy Days services, life event officiation, b’nai mitzvah education, and holiday celebrations. JYW successfully fulfills this “you do you” approach by meeting people where they are without trying to change them from unaffiliated to affiliated, interfaith to converted, or secular to religious. JYW’s offers innovative opportunities to connect Jewishly for all Jews and loved ones, and if people desire more, it serves as a gateway to other Jewish avenues. For this organization it’s not sufficient to simply tell people with a legacy of being excluded that they are now welcome. Rabbis take active steps to recognize all who desire a seat at the proverbial table. In 2006, it was the first Jewish organization to have a presence at Denver PrideFest. At the 2014 Rosh Hashanah Torah service, it invited atheists and agnostics for a group aliyah. During the 2015 Yom Kippur service, one rabbi gave a “Torah of Inclusion” sermon specifically welcoming Jews who do not have a relationship with the state of Israel. 

Philosophically JYW leads with inclusion for everyone. Organizationally, its innovative model doesn’t include members, membership dues, or a building. Interested Jews can explore spirituality without fees or pressure to change aspects of their identity to  t community norms. This model frees up JYW for creative program experimentation, venue flexibility, and resources directed at high-touch outreach, education, and holiday celebrations. This past year’s High Holidays celebrations welcomed 8,650 participants over four days. Its popular Open Tent B’nai Mitzvah program has grown to three different sections and has five tracks and three mentoring options from which students of all learning types can choose. In 2017, it launched a Shabbat Angels program aimed at identifying 25 participants to financially support and recruit others to three musical Shabbat experiences throughout the year. The inaugural Shabbat was over Simchat Torah, and 250 community members danced with the Torah. JYW gives people the tools and permission—a Jewish yes!—to participate in Jewish life on their own terms, and to that, Jews in Colorado are saying, “Yes!” right back. 

  • Region

    Colorado
  • Population Served

    Adults Children Families LGBTQ Interfaith Multiethnic Teens
  • Program Area(s)

    Community Building LGBTQ Interfaith Jewish Education Multicultural Outreach & Engagement Spirituality
  • Life Cycle Stage

    Mezzanine
  • Contact

    Wendy Aronson
  • Email

    [email protected]
  • Phone

    303-320-6185
  • Website

    judaismyourway.org
  • Twitter

    @jyourway
  • Facebook

    judaismyourwaypage
  • Snapchat

    @judaismyourway
  • Instagram

    judaismyourway
  • Address

    600 Grant Street, Suite 308 Denver, CO 80203
  • Founded

    2003
  • Board chair

    Robert Klugman
  • 2017 expenses

    $784,218

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