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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Judaism, Religion

Mission: JYW’s mission is to offer innovative opportunities to connect Jewishly for Jews and their loved ones

Results: Over the last 12 months we have touched the lives of more than 2000 people through our programs and lifecycle event services.  Our email list of those interested in hearing about our offerings has grown to more than 1600.

Target demographics: * those not affiliated with existing institutions, * those otherwise disengaged from active Jewish life, * interfaith couples and families, * LGBT individuals, couples, and families * “Jewish-plus” individuals and families, that is, those whose spirituality and identity encompasses more than Judaism, and * individuals and families of all financial means

Geographic areas served: Greater Denver/Boulder Metro Area

Programs: Provide life cycle events in jewish lives ranging from the celebration of birth to death and all holidays found on the jewish calendar; to provide the necessary spiritual counseling addressing jewish laws and customs and education regarding living a jewish life.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

JYW has been an invaluable resource for our family. We are an interfaith family so finding a place where we are comfortable and can practice and learn about Judaism has been difficult. This organization filled the need on many levels. Rabbi Field taught a series of classes for elementary school children who were not affiliated but wanted some Jewish education. He met with the parents and designed a curriculum that worked. We are grateful. JYW acted as a resource for Interfaith Community of Denver in providing workshops and discussions for interfaith families. The services have been wonderful and inclusive - filling deep needs. I loved overhearing an older gentleman comment, "Now this is how a service should be!" I was asked to be a resource speaker at the JYW support group for interfaith families which was a great experience and obviously filled a need for new interfaith couples. The Stop N Shabbat programming has been innovative and interesting and Fun! They expose people to a wide variety of Jewish experiences and expressions. It has been so good to find a Jewish home for our family with such great resources and our roles have been as client, student, volunteer, etc. We are so grateful.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JYW has been an invaluable resource for our family. We are an interfaith family so finding a place where we are comfortable and can practice and learn about Judaism has been difficult. This organization filled the need on many levels. Rabbi Field taught a series of classes for elementary school children who were not affiliated but wanted some Jewish education. He met with the parents and designed a curriculum that worked. We are grateful. JYW acted as a resource for Interfaith Community of Denver in providing workshops and discussions for interfaith families. The services have been wonderful and inclusive - filling deep needs. I loved overhearing an older gentleman comment, "Now this is how a service should be!" I was asked to be a resource speaker at the JYW support group for interfaith families which was a great experience and obviously filled a need for new interfaith couples. The Stop N Shabbat programming has been innovative and interesting and Fun! They expose people to a wide variety of Jewish experiences and expressions. It has been so good to find a Jewish home for our family with such great resources and our roles have been as client, student, volunteer, etc. We are so grateful.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter's Bat Mitzvah experience was the best I could ask for. She met with Rabbi Brian Fields one time per month for a year. She connected and felt very comfortable with the Rabbi. Their training sessions were something my daughter looked forward to each month. The outcome was a very happy and educated Bat Mitzvah. I would highly recommend Rabbi Field to work with any young children.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I were visiting the three synagogues in The Jewish Ghetto in Venice recently and the guide explained to us how the bimah was situated in the middle of the room and the Torah therefore, was read from that position. My husband caught my eye and mouthed,"Just like Rabbi Field did on Rosh Hashanah." I nodded, "Yes." Rabbi Field brought the Torah to us and we gathered around it like the sages of old. What an warm and emotional time we had. Singing and reading and sharing surrounding the scroll. That experience is symbolic of Judaism Your Way. Rabbi Field and the programs bring Judaism to the people. To paraphrase his opening remarks on the High Holidays. "Welcome to you no matter where you are in your Jewish path. We welcome you no matter who and what you are. Welcome to those who are not Jewish, but whose beloved is. WELCOME!!! What an incredible thought! No guilt Judaism. Everyone is invited to be participate and to share this Jewish experience. No longer a member of a congregation, I faced a real dilemma when my son wanted to have a naming ceremony for his daughter whose mother was not Jewish. I sought out a orthodox friend of mine and asked, "Do you know any rabbi that might hold a naming ceremony?" Fortunately I was told to contact JYW. I spoke to Rabbi Field who then spoke to my son and his wife and a ceremony was created that was inclusive and comfortable to all and my grandaughter was named after her great grandmother amidst a gathering of her family and friends. Her brother, three years later was also given his Jewish name. My second son and his intended had been attending an interfaith couples discussion group led by Rabbi Field and when they decided to marry, it was under the chupa. JYW creates Judaism in a modern meaningful manner. Celebrations of holidays are in creative and unique venues and the participants are engaged in the activity and celebrating the Jewish experience happily. I am unable to articulate the depth of my gratitude for Judaism Your Way. It plays a vital in our community and we are so very fortunate to have the program in the Denver Area.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are an interfaith couple and found Judaism Your Way when we were searching for a Rabbi who would perform our ceremony. In Judaism Your Way we found what we were looking for and so much more. In addition to helping us craft a ceremony which included elements from both of our traditions, JYW offered interfaith discussion groups where we found informative and stimulating discussions on the joys and challenges we are facing. We also started attending some of the wonderful holiday services Judaism Your Way offers. When we were experiencing personal difficulties, we found a sympathetic ear. In short, Judaism Your Way has helped us connect in a much deeper and meaningful way with each other and our faiths than we otherwise would have. While it is not a replacement for the fellowship we have within our local synagogue, it provides important additional elements we were not receiving elsewhere. We so enjoy our experiences with Judaism Your Way that we think nothing of the 120 mile roundtrip journey we undertake to attend.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JYW is a vibrant community where all Jews and their families can find refuge and connect in wonderful new ways. I am a Zen priest, and often encounter Jewish men and women who are attracted to Zen meditation. I am always looking for ways to deepen the experience of meditative mind and bring the resulting benefits of wisdom and compassion into the lives of all who are interested. JYW has provided a place where I can deepen my own understanding and appreciation of Judaism in ways that enable me to serve more fully. Rabbi Field has been a friend and an inspiration to us all.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Judaism Your Way has really helped me understand and appreciate my Jewish heritage. I love the moving celebrations of Jewish holidays that this organization offers. Even more valuable to me have been the adult education classes that Rabbi Brian Field conducts. These classes resonate deeply with the values I absorbed growing up (in a secular household) and have helped me articulate what I always suspected--that those values derive directly from Jewish religious tradition.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I started coming to Judaism Your Way a year ago for the high holiday services. Though we had previously been affiliated with a synagogue, we left that synagogue for a variety of reasons. At JYW we found the services and the people to be extremely welcoming and inclusive to Jews and non- Jews alike. The atmosphere has always been welcoming. I have also participated in the Spirituality group which is diverse and always a good conversation. Additionally, I have volunteered doing clerical work and the staff has been magnificent!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Christian pastor [United Methodist]. I have had a strong, close relationship with Rabbi Brian Field for many years as we work together for interfaith understanding. Rabbi Field has been a wonderful addition to the Denver area interfaith dialogues. Judaism Your Way has made this bridge building between the Jewish community and the Christian community a very positive experience. A year ago, I attended one of the Yom Kippur services that Judaism Your Way celebrated. I was incredibly well received and made to feel at home. I was pleasantly struck by the similarities in prayers and songs of the Yom Kippur service and the Christian season of Lent [a time of introspection and confession] as a way of celebrating a new relationship with God. For Jews, as a New Year. For Christians, as the Easter Celebration of new life. Judaism Your Way serves not only their immediate community but serves the larger interfaith community very well. Thank you to all who make this possible. Rev. Paul J. Kottke, senior pastor, University Park United Methodist Church, Denver CO.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

JYW offers a warm, inclusive approach that honors the spirituality and teachings of Judaism without being encased in all of its rituals, or limited by social boundaries. Rabbi Field is accessible, engaging, and willing to reach out to people who are searching for a non-judgmental religious experience. I have attended numerous worship services in lovely non-institutional settings, and they are consistently focused on "core messages," without elitist overtones or elaborate expectations. There are reading and discussion groups, family events, and celebrations of Jewish spirit that have lots of appeal. JYW and Rabbi Field deserve tremendous recognition. Suzana Fox Golden, Colorado

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I would to strongly recommend Judaism Your Way for people like myself who wish to remain connected with cultural and (to some degree) religious Judaism but for whatever reason do not feel comfortable affiliating with a synagogue. JYW has done a great job of providing a welcoming and embracing experience for Jews like me who want to belong to a Jewish organization that understands our desire to belong and participate in Jewish culture, study and worship without becoming a substitute temple at the same time. There are so many unaffiliated Jews in Denver - JYW offers a great alternative. The staff is wonderful -- this is a great organization and it has been a pleasure to belong.