This is the home of Judaism that you have always dreamed of – casual yet complete, spiritual yet grounded in tradition, and inclusive of all families and lifestyles.
Whether it’s Shabbat on the Beach during the summer, where dolphins magically appear as we light candles and bless wine…or our weekly Torah study sessions, our innovative religious school, or our joyful holiday celebrations, this is the place to explore what it means to be a Jew in the twenty-first century.
Shabbat with a salsa beat? A religious school with organic gardening in our own nature preserve? Transformative Adult Education that includes Jewish spirituality and Kabbalah, Talmud, Torah and a study of Rabbinic sages? A love of Judaism that is infectious?
You will find it all at the Malibu Jewish Center – a Synagogue, and so much more.
As envisioned by founder Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, Reconstructionist Judaism is a progressive, contemporary approach to Jewish life. It integrates a deep respect for the traditions of Judaism with a modern social, intellectual and spiritual life.
The Jewish Experience
For Reconstructionists, Judaism is more than religion; Judaism is the entire cultural legacy of the Jewish people. Religion is central and Jewish spiritual insights and religious teachings give meaning and purpose to our lives. Yet our creativity as expressed through art, music, drama, languages and literature, and our relationship with tradition are also integral parts of Jewish culture. Each of these aspects provides a gateway into the Jewish experience that can enrich and inspire us.
In Reconstructionism, we believe that God is that spirit within us, and within the universe, which helps us become loving and caring people; that power which we perceive through reason, experience and intuition that urges us towards self-fulfillment and ethical behavior. We find God by understanding ourselves, by being morally concerned, and by being motivated to study and live as Jews.
There Is No Right Way To Be A Jew
Each person is actively urged to study Jewish tradition and then to select those ideas and mitzvot that are personally and spiritually meaningful. There is also no single definition of a “good Jew” – some will find meaning in kashrut and Shabbat, others in study, still others in Jewish culture, Zionism or social action. What is important is that each Jew acquires a mature and sophisticated level of knowledge about Judaism, so that his or her choices will be informed and educated ones.
Judaism For Modern Life
In order that Judaism may play a life-enhancing role in our lives, we place greater emphasis on positive actions, rather than negative prohibitions. According to Reconstructionism, tradition is entitled to a vote, but not a veto.
“The Cantor inspires with his bigger than life personality, his huge, embracing heart. His voice can calm the grieving and uplift us at both the joyous and saddest of times. And our religious and preschools, led by Jennifer and Michelle, are overflowing with enthusiastic learners. These are kids who can’t wait to come to school, whether they are four or fourteen years old.”
“Malibu Jewish Center feels like old meets new. We study Torah, we worship and pray, we remember and honor the old ways while bringing the modern world into the mix, by celebrating Shabbat at the Beach, Torah Tarot at Simchat Torah and a Kabbalistic Seder at Tu’Bhesvhat. We get the best of both worlds.