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Positive Judaism

Rabbi Darren Levine Headshot 2012Welcome to Positive Judaism, Rabbi Darren Levine, D.Min

Dear Friends,

Positive Judaism is a new vision for those that are serious about improving their individual lives, their families, and their communities through Jewish living. As a parent, rabbi, and educator, I’ve witnessed in many lives and my own the deep commitment to Jewish identity but the struggle at times to find a real to the traditional ways into prayer, holiday observance, Torah study and to God. Life is complex and challenging and Positive Judaism is a new language for Judaism that articulates a way to enhance our lives in everything we do and everything we are.

Positive Judaism answers the question, “why be Jewish?” For people who are seeking to enhance their personal well-being, for leaders who are seeking to have a relevant and positive impact on the lives of their members, and for congregations seeking have a positive impact on their larger community, Positive Judaism has language that will help you find a compelling answer to the question: “why be Jewish?” read more . . .

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Positive Judaism Study Series: Winter/Spring 2017

Darren at Camp with heart photoPlease join Darren in the Winter and Spring to study Positive Judaism. As a group, we will engage in a sample of Jewish stories and teachings that speak to the ideas of inspired living and well-being. You are welcome to join each session or pick and choose as the sessions will stand alone.The study sessions will take place at Tamid from 9AM to 10:15AM. Please RSVP to Christina (cbroussard@tamidnyc.org) so we know to expect you, as always, friends are welcome.

See the schedule of dates and more information

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Positive Judaism > Happiness,” published 4/7/17, ejewishphilanthropy.com

happiness-ballIn the past year, among leading Jewish educators, there has been considerable attention given to the issue of Happiness in developing Jewish Identity among young people. In this article, Darren argues that a happiness is important, but incomplete. What about when living hurts? Educators would fail if they only equipped people with “happy” because they would not have the tools to face real life challenges. In addition to happiness, educators and clergy should also teach the range of strengths and values offered within Positive Judaism, such as gratitude, optimism, hope, courage, resilience, and forgiveness.

Read the full article and download a PDF

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Positive Judaism: Scholarly Article for Peer Review

PJ journal D-LAKJSD-LKAJPositive Judaism lives at the intersection of Positive Psychology and Judaism. This article is the first effort to articulate the connection between Jewish practice, thought, and philosophy; and, the science of human achievement and character strengths. Drawing on Torah, Talmud, Mussar, prayer, ritual, and ancient and modern commentary, the author shows that the core tenets of Positive Psychology and Jewish living are not only perfect compliments, but will lead enrich the lives of the people we serve and strengthen our communities.

Click here for the full article in PDF format

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Positive Passover Seder Guide

passover worldPassover is about stories and rituals and lends itself naturally to the core teachings of Positive Judaism. With a positive mindset, I encourage you to approach your seder with a higher purpose this year focused on two leading questions. First, how can my seder raise the level of positivity in the lives of those who sit at my table? And second, how can my seder inspire those at my table to go out and make the world a more positive place for others?

Download the Complete Positive Passover Seder Guide OR the 15-Minute Positive Passover Guide

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Positive Judaism: Classification of Strengths and Virtues 

Ethics-cloudThe categories that lead people to achieve optimal living and the values that make life more fulfilling are comprised of 24 character strengths that fall under six broad virtue categories: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. Positive Judaism has adopted the VIA Classification of Strengths framework (VIA Classification of Strengths) as the basis for the core traits and values of Positive Judaism by pairing each strength with their corresponding Jewish values, biblical teachings, and Jewish practice.

Click here for the two-page Positive Judaism Classification of Strengths