J.E.D.I. 10 Commandments
These standards and principles not only speak to the behaviors we hope to inspire change in with one another, but the moral code that guides the J.E.D.I. Initiative in all areas.
"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
I. Telling our Story of Positive Self Image | Betzelem Elokim “Image of God'' - בְּצֶ֥לֶם אֱלֹהִ֖ים:
Our image is the Image of God. Every person has a Divine soul, a neshama, something the Kabbalists call a chelek elokai m’ma’al (a part of the Divine). This work is rooted in a healthy self identity for all people of all backgrounds.
II. Building a World on Charity, Kindness and Righteousness | עוֹלַם חֶסֶד יַבְנֶה:
J.E.D.I. is rooted in a 3,500 year old tradition that promotes the lifting up of the orphan, widow, stranger, and those who are most vulnerable. Our work is the perpetual pursuit of righteousness and justice, and to support the flourishing of Jewish life, and life for all of humanity. It's who we are. It's what we do. It's the air we breathe. It's not just about giving, it is about expanding and sustaining the work.
III. Legacy and Tradition | "Mesorah" - מְסוּרָה:
Jewish Federations are rooted in a 3,500 year old tradition passed down from generation to generation. At the core of what we do to make the world a better place is informed by the diverse legacies and traditions we hold as people, what unites us is a tradition which promotes the lifting up of the orphan, widow, stranger, and those who are most vulnerable.
IV. Ongoing (Growth Mindset) Journey | "the day is short, and the work is plentiful" - הַיּוֹם קָצָר וְהַמְּלָאכָה מְרֻבָּה (Avot 2:15):
The work does not stop. J.E.D.I. is a life-long journey and process of understanding ourselves and others as it relates to identity, race, racism, and the wisdom which leads us to uphold our common humanity.
V. Holding Paradox and Ambiguity | "Eilu v’eilu" - אֵלּוּ וָאֵלּוּ דִּבְרֵי אֱלֹהִים חַיִּים (Eruvin 13b):
Accepting ambiguity and holding two ideas simultaneously is foundational to the Jewish tradition. We recognize the discomfort of sitting in the grey or within paradox and learn with the aim of cultivating conversations that actively invite people to participate with others in manifesting their unique vision and purpose.
VI. Mutual Empathy | "Do not judge your fellow until you have reached their place" - וְאַל תָּדִין אֶת חֲבֵרְךָ עַד שֶׁתַּגִּיעַ לִמְקוֹמוֹ (Avot 2:4):
J.E.D.I. is built on radical compassion: for yourself and for others. Counter to the American attitude of self-reliance and perfectionism, we believe that we all deserve an empathetic approach and space to be vulnerable without judgement when engaging in this work. Because it is impossible to stand in someone else's shoes, we lean in humbly to our hurts and the hurts of others with hope of lifting each other up.
VII. Empowerment and Encouragement | "Chazak V’amatz" - חֲזַ֖ק וֶאֱמָ֑ץ (Joshua 1:6):
Create access points and pipelines for individuals to activate their own utility and leadership in areas of personal expertise and interest, while cultivating the potential of our shared community. To generate unity between people who might have not otherwise been connected, while encouraging dialogue around our diversified experiences and perspectives.
VIII. Allyship | "I will give to you a Light unto the Nations " - וּנְתַתִּ֙יךָ֙ לְא֣וֹר גּוֹיִ֔ם לִֽהְי֥וֹת יְשׁוּעָתִ֖י עַד־קְצֵ֥ה הָאָֽרֶץ (Isaiah 49:6):
The walls of our sanctuary are the zip code we live in and the citizenship we carry as dwellers of a country and of humanity. To be a light unto nations, to one another, is to be authentic partners with a sense of abundance for all peoples, and together speak out against all forms of hate and bigotry set on a foundation of honesty, humility, and dialogue across difference.
IX. Faith and Security | "Emunah V’Bitcahon" - אֱמוּנָה וּבִטָּחוֹן:
The strength of our communities depends on the safety and security that permeates the civic society in which we live. People cannot have faith in themselves or others if they don't feel safe.
X. Shattering Stereotypes | שְׁבִירַת הַכֵּלִים:
There is much to break away from that no longer serves us as individuals and as a society. Naturally, exposure to knowledge and people of diverse experiences and backgrounds will expel harmful ideas and perceptions around J.E.D.I. and will hopefully lead to more dignified perceptions of our fellow humans. We acknowledge that personal experiences are not monolithic. We will cultivate a safe space that actively invites people to discover and live their unique vision and purpose.