Hinenu is an intentional spiritual community that celebrates an evolving and dynamic Judaism through observance, ritual, learning, song, and prayer. We come together for holidays and Shabbatot, marking the rhythm of the year. We support each other through healing and hard times, and share in joyful life cycle events.
Welcoming a diverse range of beliefs, identities, ages, and experiences, we work together to weave a thick communal culture of practice. We strive to be mishpacha, or family, for one another, one that rejoices in queer and trans identities, converts, multifaith families, and Jews of color. Though we are a community grounded in Jewish traditions, our membership is not restricted to Jews, and we welcome all who share our values and want to be in community with us.
Some of our values are listed below. We rely on our members to ensure that we all live up to them, and hope this can be a living document that informs how we engage with one another and the wider world.
Kehilah kedosha (Sacred community)
Our community strives to grow together and care for one another in radical kinship. We value the contributions of all members equally, regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical and intellectual ability, wealth, or social position. We rely on our members to take on leadership in many ways, including volunteering, communal work, emotional labor, and financial support, though everyone’s contributions to the community are valued regardless of how active they are as members.
Chesed (Lovingkindness and mutual aid)
We are collectively stronger than we are individually. We offer care, kindness, and generosity to each other within our community and beyond, creating a web of support and providing for each other in times of joy and sorrow.
B’tselem Elokim (Accessibility)
We work to build an accessible and inclusive community. Our commitment to disability justice means making every effort to meet the physical, sensory, and other accessibility needs of our community members and guests. We recognize that many disabled people, youth, and elders, along with many other marginalized people, experience poverty, and our dedication to financial accessibility ensures that there are no monetary barriers to participation in our community.
Machloket l’shem shamayim (Dispute for the sake of heaven)
Through loving and respectful struggle we generate greater clarity, justice, and beauty. We seek to coexist in ways that honor the perspectives and experiences of all of our members. When conflict arises in interpersonal relationships, we return to our commitment of lovingkindness and accountability. We dedicate ourselves to communicating bravely and honestly with each other, and moving forward in difficult situations with respect and compassion.
Tzedek (Collective liberation and solidarity)
We recognize that while the struggles for freedom by different communities are unique, they are bound up with one another. We are committed to building a community that centers justice and liberation for all people, working inside and alongside movements for racial, economic, migrant, reproductive, gender, indigenous, disability, and environmental justice. We oppose oppression, ecological destruction, and state violence around the world and in Baltimore, and work for a world where freedom, safety, and access to healthy environments are not determined by social position.
As a Baltimore-based community, we recognize the city’s historic and current state of racial inequity and seek to help build a city where no communities are treated as disposable and everyone can prosper.
As a Jewish community, we feel a particular responsibility towards justice in Palestine/Israel. Hinenu is committed to Palestinian equality, freedom, and dignity, and believes just peace in Israel/Palestine requires the liberation of Palestinians.
We celebrate the joys of Jewish traditions, practices, and cultures. We share and mark life cycle events, celebrating happy occasions and supporting each other through healing and hard times. We approach our observances, texts, and traditions with curiosity and joy in being together.
Limud Torah (Torah learning)
We learn about and wrestle with Jewish traditions and texts together, to find and build ritual practices that feed our spirits and deepen our connections to each other, our ancestors, and the Divine. We are excited that our members have diverse practices, experiences, and beliefs, and don’t believe in a hierarchy of Jewishness based on observance, doctrines, or background.
Hiddur Mitzvah (Beautifying of commandments)
Whether we’re singing songs, designing ritual objects, or making food, we strive towards beauty in our spiritual practice and observance. This means developing a creative, innovative, egalitarian approach to Judaism, one that is rooted in building the world we want to exist here and now.
Adopted June 2, 2019