Do you identify as Reform Jewish? While Open Temple does not affiliate with any Jewish denomination, we attract individuals who identify as Reform Jewish. Reform Jewish identity is someone who does not look at Judaism as a dogma, but rather, Reform Jewish ethos focuses on what Judaism means to the individual.
In contrast to other branches of Judaism that focus on Jewish law, the Reform Jewish sensibility is asking the question of how Judaism works in the world today. Reform Jews are officially members of the Reform movement; as Open Temple expressed, we are a non-denominational organization that many people might say resembles the ideas that inspire the Reform Jewish movement in the US. So, if you grew up Reform Jewish, Open Temple might just be your spiritual home that is similar to the Reform Jewish movement in the US. Our services, in a black box theatre, incorporate concepts of a Reform Jewish life – we are as open to expressions through digital media as we are meditation.
Our school is a Reform Jewish approach to Hebrew school, and employ many newly adopted ideas from the URJ: our students study Judaism through the reform lens of the arts. Our Reform Jewish approach engages students in Reform Jewish ideas that stem from the ancient and rabbinic traditions and find their way into our lives through dance, theatre, music, art, weaving and more expressions of Reform Judaism and the arts. Our women’s groups reflect the popular Reform Jewish take on traditional Jewish ideas. We have a once a month Rosh Hodesh group where women can explore their Jewish identity through community, creativity and a shared meal. The counterpart to this popular Reform Jewish spin on female community is our men’s group, which meets at Open Temple house monthly and encourages our community of men to find their voices outside of what tradition has told men to be in a similar way that Reform Jewish communities doso.
Our band converts traditional and popular Reform Jewish songs into new, cool Jewish expressions, and we are known to “mash up” traditional Jewish music and convert them into new takes on Reform Jewish classics through reworking them into Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Madonna, Motown and more. This expression of Judaism, popular in Reform Jewish communities, invites the participant into a form of Reform Jewish spirituality that is fresh, fun and uniquely modern in its application of Reform Jewish ideas and thought for a new Reform Jewish appeal.
Our approach also possesses many new takes on tradition; the result is a fresh and cool Reform Jewish look at the world around us. Open Temple’s application of Reform Jewish ideas creates a Reform Jewish experience that is contemporary, fun, and accessible for all who identify as a Reform Jewish Jew.