Yerusha

To strengthen our planetary network, ZPI will feature newly affiliated groups.

Join us here on the Hive to explore some of the offerings of the organizations affiliated with ZPI.

Introducing a new ZPI affiliate group:

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What is your mission?
To nurture new definitions of community and the changing roles within, by celebrating the unique richness of diverse heritage, identity, and experience, joining the wisdom of our past with that of the present, and uniting in education, liberation, spiritual growth, and prophetic action.

Where is your organization based?
Colorado

How many regular members do you serve? 1500

Tell us a bit about how the group was conceived. 
Founded by four Jewish spiritual leaders in 2017, Yerusha began as an initiative to preserve and advance a number of legacies from progressive religious thinkers, such as Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Rev. Matthew Fox, Rabbi Leah Novick, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rivka Davidson, and others.

Tell us about one exciting project, program, retreat, or other offering you are currently working on.
This year, Yerusha is launching The Yerusha Academy, an educational institute offering training and certificates in multiple spiritual leadership roles for clergy and lay people. Beginning with our certificates in Sage-ing® Mentorship and Ministry of Deep Ecumenism, we are building a dynamic and transformative educational institute to serve the spiritual needs of the present.

How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement? Best to include a specific story or anecdote to illustrate.
The essence of Deep Ecumenism, one of Yerusha’s core values, is directly aligned with the first tenet of Not-Knowing. Reb Zalman, one of the foundational thinker-practitioners of this theology, once said « doubt scrapes away the barnacles of belief. » He taught us that the truest act of faith is to engage in doubt and brave exploration of the unknown, fully accepting that however we emerge on the other side of this exploration is exactly who we are meant to be. Deep Ecumenism requires the practitioner to engage with our partners of other faiths in truth, honesty, and equality, experienecing what they experience without judgment, ultimately discovering our similarities, and (perhaps more importantly) celebrating our differences.

What is the most meaningful challenge your organization faces?
Yerusha aims not only to transform the spiritual paradigm but that of the nonprofit industry as well. We elected to restructure ourselves as a worker self-directed organization (the nonprofit version of a worker-cooperative), so as to truly be in alignment with our core value of respecting the leadership of labor. We bear witness to the reality that the nonprofit industrial complex has caused harm to far too many workers, expecting strenuous hours and energy for reduced pay, while the organizational policy is typically dictated by boards and funders who do not depend upon the organization for their own survival. We aim to act as an example, a resource, and an inspiration for our partners and other nonprofits to truly shift this reality from worker exploitation to worker empowerment.

Your main website URL:
www.yerusha.org

Main contact’s info:
Amitai Gross, Chief Operating Officer,
amitai@yerusha.org

 

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