At OHEL, we start with "why". When there are so many Jewish communities, why does THE TENT exist? 

  1. THE TENT exists so that every Jewish family has access to a passionate, progressive and pluralistic spiritual community regardless of class, race, gender, sexual orientation or personal practice.

  2. THE TENT exists so that every Jewish adult has a safe and accepting community in which to explore and deepen their connection to the Divine and Jewish tradition.

  3. THE TENT exists so that every Jewish child has a joyful and supportive community in which to express and celebrate their innate radical amazement through a Jewish lens.

Start With Why

Based on the model of Maimonides' 13 Principles of Faith, here are our 13 Principles of Faith.


  1. We believe that American Jews are searching for connection, purpose and meaning and that Jewish wisdom and community offer all of these and more.

  2. We believe that in a spiritual community Jewish values must be lived on the bimah and in the boardroom.

  3. We believe that Jewish communities must measure success not by the number of members or amount of dues collected but by the engagement and growth of all those who choose to join in.

  4. We believe that Jews bear a sacred responsibility to heed the prophetic call and participate actively in tikkun olam, the repair of our world.

  5. We believe that Jews deserve sacred spaces that will challenge them, not judge them.

  6. We believe that many 21st century Jews are looking for open and welcoming tents not big, fancy buildings.

  7. We believe that 21st century Jews can be empowered and trusted to make educated decisions about their spiritual and ritual lives.

  8. We believe that the major movements of Judaism do not fully reflect the diversity of Jewish belief and practice of modern American Jews.

  9. We believe that Jews of differing beliefs and practices can create a vibrant Jewish community built on mutual respect.

  10. We believe that progressive values are Jewish values.

  11. We believe that 21st century Jews are seeking authentic and joyful Judaism not burdened by formality and decorum but elevated by tradition and spirituality.

  12. We believe that spiritual communities must embrace ongoing institutional change as a central pillar of their success.

  13. We believe that in true spiritual community everyone can be a leader and a learner; a giver and a receiver.