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 Big Idea

IKAR is a way in: …No judgment. Really. Newbies and ringers, seekers and cynics, activists and ambivalents are all welcome here. The dynamism of our community is rooted in its diversity. We’re working hard to ignite sparks and create access to an invigorating and purposeful Jewish life for anyone seeking it.

IKAR is a holy community: …A sacred collection of people working to awaken the spirit and change the world (or at least disrupt the status quo). We find meaning and purpose through engaging and wrestling with our Jewish tradition. And yes, we believe in the ability of a passionate, dedicated group of people to change the world.

IKAR is a catalyst: …Reanimating Jewish life and redefining what is possible in the 21st century. We are dedicated to reclaiming spiritual and religious practice in a way that is at once accessible and challenging.

IKAR is a challenge: …To be simultaneously wholehearted and broken-hearted, to engage deeply in the world as it is, but to always believe that things can be better. And to know that religious commitments must manifest a sincere dedication to bringing healing, justice, dignity and peace to our world.

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…

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

Kingdom of Olives & Ash

In their new book Kingdom of Olives and Ash, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman team up with big-time writers and the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence. Get 411 and sign up.

@SharonBrous' Shabbat sermon, I Really Wanna Know: Who Are You?