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What is IKAR?


The challenge today is to be animated by both gratitude and unrest, by humility and audacity, and to feel the exodus from Egypt — our people’s journey from slavery to freedom, from degradation to dignity — in our guts. Our Jewish story calls us to become agents of social change whose fiercest weapons are love, faith and holy hutzpah.” – Rabbi Sharon Brous

In a time of turmoil, uncertainty, and fierce polarization, we believe that religious communities must reemerge as voices of moral courage, sources of spiritual strength, and first responders to injustice, inequality, and indifference. IKAR is working to reanimate Jewish life, to reengage text and tradition not only so that we find personal meaning and connection, but also to help us decipher what it means to be a human being in the world today.

The Mission

IKAR’s mission is to reanimate Jewish life and develop a spiritual and moral foundation for a just and equitable society. Fusing piety and hutzpah, obligation, and inspiration, IKAR is a dynamic, multi-generational community that fosters a yearning for personal, purposeful, creative engagement in Jewish life, particularly among young and disaffected Jews. Rooted in Los Angeles and reaching globally, we strive to actively and intentionally celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the Jewish people.

In a time of great upheaval and great possibility, we, as a faith community, stand with our multifaith partners as voices of moral courage, sources of spiritual strength, and first responders to injustice and indifference. Together, we are building a community fueled by Jewish traditions, texts, and audacious dreams, and working to lay the foundation for a society built on love, rooted in justice, and propelled by our moral imagination.

The Big Idea

IKAR is a way in: We see you.
We are diverse and dynamic, proudly opening our doors to newbies and ringers, seekers and cynics, activists and ambivalents. All are welcome here.

IKAR is a holy community: We were put here to do more than just look good.
We’re a sacred collection of people working to awaken the spirit and bring love and justice to the world.

IKAR is a catalyst: It’s not all about you. Or us.
We’re building a spiritual roadmap for creative, courageous, faith-inspired, justice-driven Judaism, in Los Angeles and around the country.

IKAR is a challenge: Don’t get too comfortable.
We are simultaneously animated by gratitude and unrest, by humility and audacity. We’re called to be both wholehearted and brokenhearted, reminded to engage deeply in the world as it is while fighting every day for the world as it ought to be.

Our Story
Animated by Both:
Gratitude & Unrest

Fusing piety and hutzpah, obligation and inspiration, IKAR has been harnessing an untapped energy in the Jewish community – mobilizing Jews to contribute their creative resources to address real world concerns. More about us here

FAQ
What if I don’t know Hebrew?

No Hebrew, no problem. There’s a lot of Hebrew in the service — but also a lot of music and spirit, and Hebrew is not a prerequisite for getting swept up in both. Humming and random lalalas are highly encouraged. More FAQs here

Latest Word
TED Talk: Reclaiming Religion

Rabbi Brous’ TEDTalk has over 1 million views. At a moment when the world seems to be spinning out of control, religion might feel irrelevant — or like part of the problem. But faith can be a hopeful counter-narrative to the numbing realities of violence, extremism + pessimism.

RT @ThatRabbiCohen: I guess I just want to invite you to come anyway. Come if you're an atheist. Come if you don't know the words. Come if…