As part of the FJC incubator process, I have had a chance to deliberately articulate what I believe are the ROA core religious values. I have done more extensive processing of how to measure each value and how to design programs that reinforce these values, but I thought that for right now I would just list what I believe that values are. Feel free to comment on these values in a forum or by sending me an email or posting a note on my wall. I should give credit where credit is due, and mention that 7 of these 8 values are based on the values articulated in, Sacred Clusters, Chancellor Schorschâ€™s articulation of the core values of Conservative Judaism.
Please note that these are NOT in order of importance.
#1 Developing a relationship with the Divine: We believe that every Jew must have their own personal understanding of the Divine. While this understanding can/should change over time, one must have a concept God in order to engage in Jewish practice.
#2 Jewish learning: We believe that, the study of Torah, in both the narrow and extended sense, must be a part of living a Jewish life. Each generation and every community appropriated the Torah afresh through their own interpretive activity, creating a vast exegetical dialogue in which differences of opinion were valid and preserved. It is our job to continue this tradition and create our own understandings of these ancient texts
#3 Zionism: We believe that Israel is the spiritual homeland of the Jewish people. Israel is not only the birthplace of the Jewish people, but also its final destiny. Sacred texts, historical experience and liturgical memory have conspired to make Israel, in the words of Ezekiel, “the most desirable of all lands (20:6).” Its welfare is never out of mind.
#4 Hebrew: Hebrew is the irreplaceable language of the Jewish people. It was never merely a vehicle of communication, but part of the fabric and texture of Judaism
#5 Jewish identity and community: We believe that all Jews are part of a larger Jewish community and that it is imperative to instill this sense of belonging in campers and staff members
#6 Jewish observance: We believe that at the core of the Jewish people is their dedication to Jewish observance (Halacha). Commitment to halacha has enabled to Jewish people to survive for over 2000 years
#7 Appreciation for the outdoors: We believe that the natural beauty in this world is something to appreciate and to celebrate. It is a place where people can go to find solace and the commune with the Divine.
#8 Our Partnership with God in Repairing the World (Tikkun Olam): We believe that we are partners with God in the on-going repairing of the world and that our actions impact the larger whole.