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Judaism Your Way

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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

84 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

13

Board Member

Rating: 5

Judaism Your Way is serving people in the Denver/Boulder community by providing life cycle events and programs for Jews and their families who feel that their needs have not yet been met by traditional Jewish organizations. People feel welcome, and are offered many opportunities to participate in Jewish life in a way that fits for them.

14

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family and I attended a JYW event that was very enjoyable and during which we all learned a lot about a lovely Jewish holiday that we had previously been unfamiliar. It was a lovely experience to get together with other Jews and celebrate Jewish culture in general. The JYW staff/organization clearly put a huge amount of effort into the event, and designed something that had activities and meaning for people of all ages. I think that JYW provides an invaluable service for unaffiliated Jews in Colorado and also offers a creative set of programs that affiliated Jews can benefit from as well.

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.

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

Judaism Your Way is the first organization that I know of in Denver to really try to connect Jews without obligation or only in search of funding. JYW tries to really reach those in the Jewish Community who have not been reached by any other Jewish organization in years. There is a place for Jews in the Denver area where people can connect on there own terms without being told how much to give or how often to participate. JYW offers this to the greater community.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am in an interfaith family. Fourteen years ago when I was looking for options to get married I found the options at the two reformed synagogues I had a relationship with wouldn't perform the ceremony. In the fourteen years we have been married we hadn't found a fit for our family to participate in the traditional institutions in town until Judaism Your Way. We are raising our children Jewish and have found a resourse to make us feel comfortable and welcome participating in the local Jewish Community.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family is interfaith and we discovered Judaism Your Way several years ago when we were searching for a rabbi who would consent to marry us in a combined Jewish/Christian ceremony. We found in Judaism Your Way an organization and a staff that has been so supportive and inclusive of our family and our needs. We felt very excluded from the synagogues we had went to with family and friends; a community that was very vocally against any kind of interfaith marriages and family. Judaism Your Way opened their doors to us, and because of this we have found a new community of interfaith friends, religious experiences that our family feels comfortable with, and spiritual dialogue that we felt was missing in our life. My husband, who is Jewish, had been very unconnected from Judaism for years. He further distanced himself from Judaism when we received no warmth from other Jewish organizations and synagogues when we searched for a spiritual home as a family. Now, he embraces his Jewish identity more and is comfortable in continuing to explore his Jewish roots and spirituality. As a non Jew, I feel very welcomed. I have always felt comfortable in asking questions and seeking knowledge, even when I know it is very basic. We look forward to celebrating more life events with Judaism Your Way as our family grows: baby namings, child education, and family spiritual events. Judaism Your Way is a part of our spiritual family!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

JYW's philosophy is what every Jewish agency needs in the 21st century: start with an understanding that customers are savvy and wants meaning in their lives; seek commnity but define it differently than their parents do; live by Jewish values but know less about their roots than any previous generation; and will always seek more if the products and services they access are high quality and strike a chord. These customers are not looking for less authenticity at all, just a product that doesn't judge them or force them into boxes. JYW is a living laboratory and we need more like it and we need them now.

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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's the best way possible to make interesting new friends with an interest in Judaism. It's a REAL asset to our community.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization provides a wonderful, spiritual, and meaningful experience every time I have attended. The High Holiday services, the stargazing and menorah-gazing at Chanukah, the folk dancing at the Shabbats at the park, the Challah baking--- all are not offered anywhere else.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When our kids were in elementary school they spent a few years going to temple/religious school on Saturday mornings. Then, their sports took over and we found ourselves pulling our kids out of Saturday morning religious school all the time. We always felt so guilty doing that, but our kids really loved their sports. Our daughter Jacki is a figure skater, and our twin sons Jeremy & Ethan play competitive travel ice & roller hockey. We weren't involved with any of the temples functions because we live about 25 minutes away, and it always seemed to conflict with the kids sports. We also felt guilty going because we never went to many things, and didn't know anybody. The following year our children didn't attend any religious school, and we really weren't sure if they would ever have the chance to have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. We met Rabbi Brian Field a few years back during the High Holiday services. We thought it was a fabulous laid back atmosphere, and such a wonderful service. As the High Holidays approached we went back to his service which Judaism Your Way (JYW) holds at no charge to all who would like to attend. This year I noticed the attendance increased double in size, and again it was wonderful. It was time to call JYW to see about the possibility of a Bar/Bat or B'nai Mitzvah for our children. Rabbi Field sat down with us and described the many choices we had for our children. He didn't tell us there was only one way or one choice, but there were many choices!! Also, he was flexible on days and times! Discussing this decision with our children they were very excited about the adventure. All three decided they wanted to have the Mitzvah together. We picked a time during the week to meet that worked for the Rabbi, and our children. Then, we started our journey for the next year and 3 months. We were on the way to a three-way B'nai Mitzvah! We set the date for a summer Mitzvah because it wouldn't conflict with sports. Rabbi Field was always wonderful. There was never any stress put on any of us. The most important thing is the kids loved him! Leaving their first session with Rabbi Field they jumped in the car and said it was "amazing"! They said the same thing at the last session!! There was never a struggle to go to their sessions. They enjoyed every moment of them. Jacki studied Hebrew with Cantor Birdie all year. Her Torah portion at the Mitzvah was absolutely beautiful. The boys picked separate projects to research. All three studied at their own pace, and chose their own direction. Their B'nai Mitzvah took place on July 25th, 2009. It was amazing!! Rabbi Field put together the most incredible service EVER!! Each kid had their own moment, and it was so special. Three kids all doing different things in one Mitzvah, and it went so smooth! Rabbi Field has a wonderful way of taking a large group of people, and making them feel so comfortable. He allows for people to be part of the service instead of watching the service. We are soooo happy and proud to continue to be a part of JYW. We always feel welcomed, and wanted. The most amazing part of all of this is that our kids are proud to be Jewish. They were also taught how to be good people. Better people. How to make this world a better place. To be honest people. Most of all Rabbi Field taught them acts of loving kindness. I can't thank them enough for everything they have done for our family. This year all three kids had to write papers about an experience in their life. They all wrote about their Mitzvah, and that it was the best day of their lives. Mandi & Larry Solat

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.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

JYW is a wonderful place were learning is easy and fun by dipping into a Spiritual type pot luck were everyone is giving and receiving in the form of Jewish enlightenment. Rabbi Field,in his class groups hands out litatue in the form of written passages and we all take turns reading, sharing what needs to be discussed. Anyone who attends will be taken with the way this man leads his Flock…You will believe if you attend.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I do a lot of songleading and playing music in the Denver Jewish community -- part-time at a Reconstructionist congregation and a Reform Temple and for a number of other shuls, programs and organizations. I've worked with Rabbi Brian for several years at many JYW events, and from the outset I've always been impressed with Brian's ability to draw people in and help them open themselves to the creative possibilities of Jewish life. Brian models a Judaism that is inclusionary, nonjudgmental, affirming and sweet. Backed by his capable and hardworking staff, he exhibits true menschiness and guides an organization that Colorado is lucky to have.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My most recent experience with JYW was at the High Holy Days services. While I hesitated about going to the campus at DU, rather than the beautiful Hudson Gardens where the service were held last year, I realized it wasn't the surroundings that made it special, it was the way Rabbi Field (and staff) presented the experience. My husband and I are very grateful for JYW as it gives a place to join others in celebrating Judaism. We are both at a time in our lives that we don't need what a traditional synagogue offers. Our appreciation goes out to JYW for being there. We look forward to attending the Bat Mitzvah of our dear friend's daughter next year...but will be participating in other services prior to that with Rabbi Field.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a black woman and a lesbian, it can be challenging to find Jewish spaces where I am welcomed with unquestioning warmth. I have always found this warmth with Judaism Your Way. I feel able to participate fully where I am at as a Jewish identified individual. That is the beauty of both the organization't title and the vision behind that title. I believe that Judaism Your Way opens the door for all Jews as well as people interested in Judaism to explore their pasts, presents, futures and possibilities of observance and expression in a safe and supportive way. Because it is Judaism your way and not "their way" or "the way," it removes the stresses of not fitting in. In my eyes, Judaism Your Way provides a unique service and a powerful contribution to the Denver community.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a venue which to ,both my husband and I, is a way to get in touch with our spirituality in a more meaningfull way. Our most recent experience at the High Holy days with the rabbi and those who helped act out the Torah portion, we thought, was an excellent way to bring Torah into a more relavant light---so one could actually relate to it (great for the young people). The use of music (both solo and group singing) pulls us together in our prayer. And, I for one, find the music soulfood!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

What great fortune to have Judaism Your Way in Denver! This is a very unique organization, one that we'd be lucky to find in a more cosmopolitan city. My husband and I came to know of JYW through their High Holiday services, which unlike most temples, are open to all. This attitude of being so warm, welcoming, curious and open to questions of Jewish identity and Jewish development is what makes this organization unique and STELLAR! I cannot overemphasize this! JYW is a safe and ENERGIZING place to ask questions and to dialogue about many things. Rabbi Brian is truly open to discovery. He's highly educated, funny, intellectual, down to earth, and REAL. He doesn't proport to have "the answers" and is not interested in being "the expert." More like a learned scholar who is always learning more, and open to exploring with his clients, he faciliates an experience where it is safe to ask questions and continue to dialogue. Rabbi Brian performed the naming ceremony for our girl-boy twins, creating a meaningful, interfaith way to honor the start of their earthly journeys while including our family and closest friends Jewish, Christian and Buddhist, in the ceremony. The result was an experience that was original, heartfelt, expansive in its scope, and inclusive of the interfaith audience it served. Our friends and family LOVED IT! Experiences like this make JYW stand out as a place in which I WANT to educate my children, and continue to learn myself. JYW is a multi-generational learning and growth experience. Adults and children can learn about their Jewish heritage, explore their identities as Jews, and continue to ponder their spiritual choices. Questions are welcome, and each person's interpretation of what it is to be Jewish is met with interest, education, and an investment in that person's understanding of what makes life meaningful for her or him. I cannot recommend JYW highly enough! I'm just so glad that it's here, in my hometown.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I was visiting my daughter in Denver last September. She does not belong to a temple but had heard of Judaism Your Way. My husband, daughter and her family and I went to Judaism Your Way for the High Holidays and were made to feel very welcome. At that time my grand daughter decided to join a new girls group that Rabbi Brian spoke of and has attended and loved the first meeting. She is also now doing her Bat Mitzvah with Rabbi Brian and my daughter is getting involved also. I look forward to my next visit to Denver and also to Judaism Your Way.

2 maggie, www.maggiemiller.org

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I’ve had a great time working with the staff of Judaism Your Way as an outside evaluator, and I’ve also had the pleasure of going to their events. I’ve found the staff to be dedicated to the mission of holding the doors of Judaism to Jewish people and their friends and loved ones. The events are warm, welcoming, and FUN!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am an active member of two synagogues in the Denver area and support both with my volunteer time and financially. I've been lucky enough to have attended several JYW events every year for the past four years and each time, I find it a deeply nourishing, Jewishly grounded experience. JYW is one of my Jewish homes. I have come to depend on JYWs perspective, I learn things there that I don't experience elsewhere, and I continue to remain just as active in my other Jewish commitments. I consider myself Jewishly well-educated and very comfortable and relaxed in my Jewish identity. I wish I could say I'm personally more comfortable with intermarriage, but I struggle with this reality.  I can really understand the Jewish leaders who throw up their hands in despair about intermarriage because, as liberal and "welcoming" as I am and try to be, on the inside I have often felt much grief that the Jewish people can seem like it is melting away. So I deeply understand the instinct to say "no" and close the door.   But I resent the fear-mongering that goes on in our community as it whips up a lot of feelings but doesn't get us closer to a flexible set of responses that deal with the reality of changing Jewish lives. Many of us, even if we are Jews in committed relationships with Jews like I am, have multiple affiliations and have more complex identities than did our parents. I want a Jewish community that knows how to journey with me, not just to wave good bye if I or my relatives or friends have lives that happen to resemble a braided candle.  Like many of the understandably scared Jewish leaders, I was raised to feel that non-Jews could never be allies to me or my community's vitality, that they represented the end of things, never the beginnings, that their eagerness to learn about Judaism, or to support me was somehow suspect or hollow.  Our outreach programs to interfaith families have also been on the hollow side. There still remains a huge chasm, a persistent sense of a "we" and a "they" - in and out of synagogue life.  I think some outreach programs have been effective but many have lacked a deeper, more confident infrastructure such as what Rabbi Field provides.  Rabbi Field has developed an extremely well thought-out framework for reminding people like me that Judaism has always taken in and used "outside" influences to grow and to refine our culture's responses to the divine, to the larger community, to each other.  What a thought to consider - that perhaps we are not chronically faced with dilution (annihilation) all the time but have opportunities to expand and grow while standing firmly on Jewish ground.  Rabbi Field is demonstrating how Judaism can be the "host," that we can reckon with the inevitable demographic changes - trends which are bigger than all of us - through deep engagement. He's showing that closing the door just won't work for the short or long-term health and vitality of our community. I watch Rabbi Field assume that many non-Jews with great integrity want to know how to stand with and stand up for their family members and our community as it morphs into the next form. As foreign as it is to my upbringing, I have begun to understand Rabbi Field's belief that many people want to be allies to our community and can be counted on to be effective, to be aware of the complexities and richness of the Jewish journey. They can be enlisted to support their spouses, friends and children who hunger for Jewish connections and knowledge even if they have no idea how or where to get it.  25 years ago a wonderful rabbi shut the door -- "nicely" -- in my brother's and his non-Jewish fiancee's face, and my brother hardly ever showed up in any form of Jewish life again. The fallout from this all-too-common experience continues - his two twenty-something children are smart, alive people but on the Jewish front they are confused - I can see that they have all the Jewish worries without any of the goodies.  Had this family been supported by a JYW I believe these young people would have a much more clear understanding of their legacy and be able to feel entitled to belong -that they have a claim on Judaism, that we need them - even if they did not have two Jewish parents but only one. If they saw their father as a legitimate, fully supported member of the community, whose Jewish contributions were sought and valued even if his life partner wasn't Jewish, how different their identity journey might have been.  Instead I think they see their father as having been pushed out for making a choice (when he was only 25!) that sealed his and their fates as forever "questionable" Jews.  I can deeply understand rabbis seeing themselves as the ones who must set boundaries, the ones who must ask people to make tough choices, etc. I believe that Rabbi Field's way of doing this same work - of maintaining the Jewish people's health -- is to say yes and to say it from a position of strength. He is not guarding the goodies for the "committed-enough" (by whose definition?), so much as inviting people to understand the goodies, to partake, to share them with others.  I think Rabbi Field certainly understands the more guarded worldview, but he does not want it to prevail, or to substitute for differently responsive leadership.  Rabbi Field positions Judaism as a strong host for a changing Jewish community while at the same time deepening and expanding Jewish expression in exciting ways. Some examples that come to mind include (1) JYW’s new Open Tent Bnai Mitzvah program which supports four different ways for young people to Jewishly celebrate their coming of age, (2) their embrace of cutting edge expressions of Jewish spirituality such as Storahtelling, and (3) their Tu b’Av Jewish Festival of Love - where my partner and I got to explore relationship dynamics from a Jewish spiritual perspective, hear Jewish love stories for grown-ups, and watch couple after couple renew their vows under the huppah. I wish Rabbi Field and JYW continued recognition for the important contribution they are making to Denver's Jewish community. Denver can be proud to be the incubator for a program and an approach which many of us feel should be getting national attention. 

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Judaism Your Way, under the leadership of Rabbi Brian Field, has given an opportunity to so many who have felt disenfranchised in trying to be part of the Jewish community. Rabbi Brian has indeed been creative, imaginative, and understanding in making each individual or family comfortable and relevant in their approach to Judaism. This organization has had a great beneficial effect in the Jewish community in their outreach approach.I really enjoyed the Tu b'Av Jewish Festival of love! Keep up the good work!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I atended High Holy Day Services at JYW and they were really wonderful. The whole idea of creating an environment and services that reaches out to jews of diverse backgrounds and degrees and types of engagements is great. So often organized Judaism feels exclusionary; this is inclusionary. So often organized Judaism seems rather dedicated to doing their thing but not really thinking about whether it engages or is meaningful to the people who (might) attend. JYW thinks deeply about that. When mixed couples attend usual Jewish services they seem to feel uncomfortable -- or so folks I know have said -- actually they often say they are made to feel uncomfortable -- yet people can't seem to understand why these folks don't want to attend services. Rabbi Brian is very creative and thoughtful, insightful and incisive, and the wonderful services were put on -- in a rented venue -- but two paid staff! Talk about great use of donors' money! So, they are doing a phenomenal job -- it's meaningful,personal, and very important. Six Stars

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was in Denver 2008 for Rosh Hashana and was privileged to attend services conducted by Rabbi Brian Field. The services took place under a great tent on a glorious sunny fall day. There were at least four to five hundred people of all ages who became a community and worshiped together. Rabbi Field conducted a beautiful and meaningful service and I thank Judaism Your Way Jewish for making this available. What a wonderful opportunity for other cities across the country to replicate.

2

Client Served

Rating: 4

I've been attending the High Holy days with Judaism Your Way for several years. They are very inclusive, generous and kind. I love their musically-oriented services. They are a terrific organization!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been attending the High Holy Days services for the last 4-5 years, and Judaism Your Way bring a real Jewish presents into my life. I appreciate all that they do to make everyone feel like they are where they are supposed to be. From the Rabbi to the staff, everyone makes and effort to be inclusive. That's very comforting.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Had joined a study group that met monthly.At each session, we covered a tightly-written chapter that covered a different facet of Jewish life and thought. Found the interplay of discussion with group members an eye-opener, via the different backgrounds and experiences represented. However, the sterling attraction of the project was the discussion leader, Rabbi Brian Field. Both deeply and broadly knowledgeable in the totality of Judaism, I found, in conversing with him, a veritably-super intellectual"across-the-net" player in religious discourse. That experience was a true highlight for me.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am so fortunate to live in Denver Colorado with such an innovative Jewish Congregation to fill the needs of unaffiliated Jews in my city. I have tried to find a congregation in Denver, wandering from Reformed, Reconstructionist, and Conservative Synagogues with no personal connection to any of them. Rabbi Field and the Board have created a place that meets my needs on many spiritual levels. My relationship with Judaism Your Way has stimulated my interest in making a more profound and consistent spiritual connection to my Jewish roots and beliefs. In addition, Rabbi Field also was able to perform my Uncle's funeral service. My Uncle was unaffiliated with a Synagogue at the time of his death, and found his relationship to many of the Jewish Religious Institutions frustrating. He would have liked Rabbi Field, who stepped in and performed a wonderful and touching service for my mourning family. Friends of mine tease me about the name and question the simplicity of using a name that says it all. Judaism your way truly meets people where they are, wherever they are, on their spiritual path.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are a family with one parent from a Reform background and one from a Conservative and Rabbi Field's services are the only ones that feel right to both of us. We have been attending stop-in-shabbat and high holiday services since we first moved to Denver a few years ago; not only is Rabbi Field sincere, kind, and knowledgeable, but he continues to evolve as a Rabbi, which is wonderful to see. Another thing we like: are a non-traditional family (two moms), and have always felt completely comfortable at JYW services- JYW is a proud and out loud supporter of the gay community (e.g. presence at Pride). JYW has an odd name, but it is a wonderful service and I'm grateful that it exists.

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

Donor

Rating: 4

Fantastic welcoming feeling and warmth from the Rabbi and his staff at all the events I've been to. The first event I attended was a Shabbat Dinner at Red Rocks Park and I brought my daughters. While conversing with the Rabbi and participating in prayer, his wife played hide and seek with my girls on the surrounding trails and they had a blast. Israeli Dancing and picnicking in Wash Park on another Shabbat was also a great time. High Holiday services are outstanding for the last three years I have gone, especially for the clarity and thoughtfulness in putting together a mostly English service that is understandable, instead of the the rote recitation of ancient prayers in Hebrew which I do not fully understand.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I felt included when I began attending Judaism Your Way, previously I had never felt this way. My husband is not Jewish and I did not feel he was accepted at other Temples we attended. Being accepted is a huge factor for me. The services maintain tradition, while trying to explain the traditions many of us may not understand. The positive approach to explaining the scriptures is also soothing, rather than guilt ridden.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was raised with Orthodox Judaism. I attended a Yeshiva for many years and practiced what I was taught. After much soul searching I rejected the Jewish religion. When I served in the U.S. Air Force I was introduced to Reform Judaism. This I liked for many years. Again with soul searching I once again rejected the Jewish religion. After many years of disbelief I found Judaism Your Way, and this did it for me. All Jews are welcomed with their beliefs. I have found a home for me and my family at last.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Judaism Your Way was the organization that I turned to when I was ready to begin my formal conversion to Judaism. Rabbi Field was able to answer all of my questions and make me feel comfortable. Not only was he the Rabbi at my wedding, but he also has been able to help me on my spiritual quest during some down time in my conversion process (conflicting schedules because of nursing school right now!) I have found Judaism Your Way to be the organization I will always be involved with because of the amazing people and their involvement in the community!

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!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I "found" Judaism Your Way and its High Holiday services after becoming dissolutioned with my traditional synagogue which I had attended my entire life. My two children are in interfaith marriages and this inclusive gathering that is full of respect and welcomes the diversity among us, answered the needs of my family. It plays a vital role in the lives of Jews and non-Jews as they relate to Judaism each, in a very personal manner.

2

Client Served

Rating: 4

They are open and non-judgemental.The rabbi lead a service for my gay jewish group.My partner felt accepted at the Yom Kippur service. Another non jewish friend like the seder dinner.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The 'Big Tent' of Judaism! Warmth and kindness combined with knowledge and experience. And a unique ability to accept people as they are and help them achieve their personal and spiritual goals without judgement. If only cloning were far enough along to create a gaggle of Rabbi Brians...

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome to have a place to take my kids that is welcoming, warm and available. My daughter is excited about Judaism becuse of the services run for free by Judaism Your Way.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

JYW's mission is "to meet you where you are" on the path to Jewish spirituality. I have found a place that truly exceeds what they have set out to do. My partner Paul and I have just recently been married by Rabbi Field. I have never witnessed such love for 2 people joining their souls together. We have attended services and work-shops led by Rabbi Field and as we are inter-faith, Paul always feels welcomed and appreciated. I wish I could go on and on, but this organization is truly an asset to our lives and our spiritual journey. Kevin - Wheat Ridge, CO

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.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rabbi Field and Judaism Your Way were recommended to my fiance and I when we moved to Denver. As an interfaith couple wanting to start a jewish family, we wanted to have a Jewish Wedding. Luckily, we found Rabbi Field to officiate. Rabbi Field provided pre-marital counseling and helped us create a wedding ceremony that was wonderful for us. Just as important our guests were moved by the ceremony and everyone felt included. Rabbi Field and Judaism Your Way provide inclusive, progressive, and essential services to an expanding constituency, and do so with care and compassion.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband found Judaism Your Way through an internet search when we were looking for someone to marry an interfaith couple in Breckenridge, CO. Our experience was incredible and far exceeded our expectations! Rabbi Field did a fabulous job of incorporating both of our backgrounds into the ceremony, and of using they ideas we came up with as well. Numerous guests commented on how wonderful the ceremony was. I would recommend this organization to any interfaith couple!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been to two functions for this organization the August 'Tu B'Av festival of Love' which was very exciting and fun for the entire family with musical entertainment, dancing, workshops, food, and great craft booths. I also spent Yom Kippur with Judaism Your Way and loved their 'storah telling' a dramatic telling of a torah story. But experiences was enchanting.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Made our interfaith wedding wonderful and appropriate for both families. It was special for everyone. Fabulous! We would recommend this to anyone who wants to involve Judaism and it wonderful traditions in their wedding.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

my wife jamie and i were lucky to part of the first interfaith couples group offered by judaism your way. we can say that when we started we had expectations and questions. when we finished the meetings we were spiritually in a place, that with out the assistance of rabbi brian, we do not think that we would have achieved. we still find ourselves challenged at times and when we are, rabbi brian and his organization come to our mind as a place for further assistance. for that my wife and i are forever grateful.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rabbi Brian Officiated our wedding ceremony and it was absolutely beautiful. Everyone who was there said it was the best wedding they had ever been to. They all loved the way he explained the traditions and the meanings behind the rituals. We have also attended High Holidays services and shabbat. We love the way everyone is welcome and make it so easy to keep involved in our jewish faith..

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Judaism Your Way provides a unique service for the community. Rabbi Field creates an atmosphere where Jews and non-Jews feel comfortable exploring the vast richness of the Jewish traditions, history, and beliefs. The organization provides free holiday services, Shabbat evenings, and other festival events in an effort to welcome everyone. My wife and I are a mixed-faith couple. Rabbi Field and Judaism Your Way specialize in mixed-faith family issues and welcoming back "marginalized Jews." Judaism Your Way provides a non-judgmental and open atmosphere for us to develop Jewish traditions that work for our family. Rabbi Field's willingness to work with us over many months and his individualized attention to the specific questions, conflicts, and concerns that arise from "Jewish ambivalence" gave me the confidence to reconnect with Judaism.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rabbi Brian Field is a very special person. Rabbi Brian is one of the rare members of the clergy who is able to step outside of the mainstream world of his faith (our faith) and ask with an open mind, an open heart, and with pure love, "How can I best serve the people in my community?" Not blinded by a desire to reach numeric goals, to raise money, to spread a certain dogma, or to justify his personal world view, Rabbi Brian goes above and beyond what we normally expect from a Rabbi. Judaism Your Way goes above and beyond what we expect from a synagogue. My family and I belong to a large, loving Reform community in Denver, which despite its wonderful staff, does not always offer us everything we need in terms of a personal expresssion of our spirituality. For years, I had a yearning, a quest, a desire for something more personal, more intimate, more profound in my Jewish practice. It's not often we speak of angels in Judaism, but Rabbi Brian was like an angel to me and my family. His deep love for Judaism is reflected in his willingness to study it, to wrestle with it, and to question it along with his informal congregation. Rabbi Brian trusts that Judaism is strong enough and deep enough to withstand hard questions, the challenges of assimilation, and modern changes and interpretations. He trusts Jewish wisdom, the process of personal and spiritual growth, and most importantly, he trusts us. On a practical level, Rabbi Brian is saving Judaism one person at a time, in my opinion. Many of the friends I have referred to Judaism Your Way had drifted from Judaism through inter-marriage, personal beliefs, self-doubt, and sometimes, sadly, a negative experience somewhere else. As each reports back their experience, I hear stories of feeling welcomed back into the loving arms of a community - one where people are not judged, people are not seen for how much they contribute financially, and people feel empowered, inspired, affirmed and deeply moved. As a para-professional community wedding officiant, I look to Rabbi Brian as the gold standard in my life of what it means to serve. He serves without judgment, he serves with honesty and integrity, and he serves with an abundance of love. Denver is a better place to have him in it, and the thousands of people his life has touched since he has been here will leave a legacy of beauty that cannot be measured. Here is an example of one of the many spiritual contributions Rabbi Field has made. Several years ago, my children and I attended High Holy Days services with Judaism Your Way. The service was held in beautiful Hudson Gardens. My children, 13 and 11 at the time, were dreading services -- the only ones they had been to until that time were very boring in their minds. "Why do we have to go?" they whined. When we arrived, Rabbi Brian gave them the choice to sit in the seats with the congregation, or to enjoy being nearby in the park where they could still hear the hymns and the prayers, but have a more personal, age-appropriate, spiritual connection with God. Of course, they chose the latter. To this day, they tell me how Rabbi Brian made them LIKE Judaism. They want their Jewish practice to always be as meaningful as that special service. They will never forget it. My only regret is not being able to return the friendship, the contribution, and the profound impact Rabbi Brian Field and the entire staff at Judaism Your Way has had on my life, and on the life of my children, to the extent to which they have personally contributed to me.

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

We met Rabbi Brian in the summer of 2006 on our quest to find a rabbi to conduct our interfaith wedding that fall. After contacting numerous rabbis in the area, and being told "no" repeatedly, we were so relieved to find Judaism Your Way. Rabbi Brian was very understanding, gracious and willing to do our ceremony. He met with me and my Christian family to ensure that our values, culture, and family history were an integral part of the ceremony. All of our wedding guests commented on the beautiful and meaningful service. We liked Rabbi Brian so much that we asked him to conduct our daughter's naming ceremony/covenant celebration this past August. Once again, he did a wonderful job. We plan to continue attending JYW events as a family.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have attended high holiday services, some miscellaneous events and a regular reading/spiritual discussion group lead by Rabbi Field. Although I tend to like more traditional liturgy, I have always found something spiritually fulfilling and engaging at JYW events. I've particularly enjoyed the small discussion groups where Rav Brian brings new and personal meaning to old Jewish teachings and customs.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rabbi Field helped us tremendously with our wedding ceremony. It was very personal and meaningful for both me and my husband. We also got a lot out of the Interfaith couples group we were a part of. I would highly recommend this organization to any couple who is seeking a way to incorporate Judaism into their lives.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter & her husband were married last month by Rabbi Brian Field. It was a very meaningful process and a very personal and spiritual ceremony. We were thrilled and impressed!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I married each other 17 years ago and with him being Jewish and me a Catholic we struggled with a place to belong. A place where we could embrase each other with our love and committment to each other and to God. For 14 years we found no place. But then we came upon Judaism Your Way and with open arms were welcomed. Our children we/are being Bar Mitzvahed by Rabbi Field. There was never a more beautiful experience for us or for the people who attened the service - both Jew and non-Jews. Rabbi Field has alway made me feel included and extrememly important even though I wasn't Jewish. There is no better feeling than to pray openly with my children and husband. To be in such a loving respectful congragation - its WONDERFUL. I am SO greatful that God brought us Judaism Your Way. Thank you.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I come from a very strong conservative Jewish background, deeply steeped in ritual and celebration. I have had a very deep Jewish education and involvement with the Ramah summer camps for over 10 years. My experience was quite frankly, never involved with the more spiritual side of Judaism. It was quite dogmatic and at times, even harsh. Very little regard for questioning and discourse other then what we were studying at that moment. The result was that I felt ostracized and left alot behind. There was really no sense of community in my many years of Ramah summer camp and education well into the Prozdor program at the JTS in New York City. I find Judaism your way open and nurturing. It is in a true sense, very much community directed and I feel part of this.There is no judgement over belief or practice, or for that matter, non-belief or non practice. I find their work through community programs enlightening and exciting. it feels very nice to touch base with my Jewish roots in such a different way. I have met very interesting people on very different spiritual paths all with a sense of inquiry and thoughtfulness.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was raised Jewish in a small Jewish community with a Jewish Renewal background and my husband converted to Judaism about 5 years ago. We have participated in events with different Jewish communities throughout Denver and have felt the most comfortable and welcomed at Judaism Your Way. I find the services to have a meaningful, spiritual focus. My husband appreciates that he can easily follow the service and understand the English prayers. We both love how Rabbi Brian makes a strong effort to reach out to everyone who wants to participate. We also have really appreciated that Judaism Your Way has chosen to offer events at little or no cost as we start our family together in Denver.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Before I discovered Judaism Your Way, I never felt truly comfortable in a Jewish setting, even though I was born and raised Jewish and attended religious services throughout my life. I always felt somewhat like an imposter and never felt really welcomed and accepted for who I am. I found little spiritual connection in a traditional service and struggled to translate traditional prayers (even in English) into words that made some sense to me). My first introduction to Judaism Your Way was at High Holiday services, during which several parts connected so deeply as to move me to tears: the rabbi’s welcoming remarks, the poems and prayers themselves, and the emphasis on inclusivity and community. Since then, I have attended other services and events, spoken to the rabbi one-on-one, and attended a number of his classes. I feel completely comfortable and accepted in whatever way I want to participate and validated in expressing my own spirituality in ways that are meaningful to me.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are an interfaith couple with a strong sense of spirituality. I felt strongly about having a jewish wedding, but wasn't sure where we would be accepted. Rabbi Brian helped us plan a wedding that fulfilled both of our spiritual needs, and helped both our families feel included in the ceremony. We were so happy with his message, that we had him also do a welcoming ceremony for our children. At Judaism Your Way, my non-jewish spouse doesn't just feel tolerated, but completely accepted as part of the community.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a transgendered Female-to-male transgendered person. I do not fit in "black Hat" Judaism. I am a member of Congregation Beth Evergreen. I am the token TS. I am treated very well by the members there. However, as the token TS Jew in our shul, it is hard to feel connected as both a Jew and a TS person, when you are the only one. I attended a GLBT Jewish Pride Shabbat in Cheeseman Park. I felt very comfortable knowing I was not the token GLBT person there. I felt very accepted and very comfortable. I am grateful Judaism Your Way and Jewish Mosaic, along with B'nai Havarah that all contributed to putting this event together. I wish there were more GLBT Jewish events. How about a Havarah? Anshel Bomberger

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was trying to imagine Judaism that accepted me and my perspectives, that met me and my Jewish identity at the unique and dynamic point where I currently find myself, willing to openly accept and serve the range of Jews in Denver and Colorado who are active and spiritually viable, if somehow outside of the mainstream...and there was JUDAISM YOUR WAY, offering regular, relevant, timely, interesting, often cutting-edge Judaic programs and services that truly fill a void in our community. Chanukah at the Jewish deli, Tu B'shvat seder at the Jewish Museum, Kabbalat Shabbat in the park, a Passover 'Freedom Seder,' in collaboration with the African-American community, and held at the butterfly pavilion. (After all, who knows more about bondage and oppression than the descendants of slaves, and what better representation of freedom than butterflies?) All of these and more are ways that I've enjoyed and benefitted from this unique and wonderful Jewish entity in Denver. Their strength is in the nimble creativity and genuine depth they offer to anyone who's willing to give JYW a try.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have belonged to a large Temple in Denver for more than 25 years and our son celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at the Temple; our daughter wanted a different and more meaningful Bat Mitzvah for herself. She didn't want to fulfill requirements but wanted a meaningful, individualized experience for herself. We had heard of Judaism Your Way from some friends and when our daughter met Rabbi Field she knew that he was just the person to help her. Rabbi Field (I make no distinction between Judaism Your Way and Rabbi Field as I view them as one and the same--when referring to the Rabbi, I am including Judaism Your Way)did all of the expected needs for my daughter's preparation, e.g. teaching and bringing her Hebrew to an excellent level, choosing her Torah and Haftorah and working with her, etc. However, what my daughter really wanted and what the Rabbi delivered was the reason and relevance of the importance of a Bat Mitzvah. The result of her Bat Mitzvah experience with Judaism Your Way is she has continued to be involved in Jewish life at the JCC and the Temple and making an effort to maintain her Jewish identity. I attribute much of her feelings concerning Judaism to be a result of her Bat Mitzvah experience and Judaism Your Way.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Even though I had been a satisfied member of a Denver-area shul for 7 years (and taught at several religious schools), I was thrilled when JYW reopened its doors, hired Rabbi Field and expanded its outreach. Welcoming, accessible and innovative, I have attended many great events, such as creative Tu B'shevat celebrations, discussion groups and adult learning with visiting scholars, as well as unique programs simply not being offered anywhere else. What JYW offers is something truly unique, not just in Colorado, but in the country. It's a different way of organizing community and reaching out to people (whether they are "affiliated" or not). The staff, funders and supporters who make JYW possible are truly doing a mitzvah for the Jewish world. So many people today complain about the "demise" of American Jewish identity, and the fact fewer people want to affiliate with Jewish community in the traditional models. A group like JYW is actually doing something about it. The only reason I no longer attend their events is because I moved away from Colorado. I miss it!