Positive Judaism

A New Vision for Jewish Life in the 21st Century


Rabbi Darren Levine Headshot 2012Dear 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.

Read the Positive Judaism Blog on Beliefnet.com

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 . . .

Listen now to the Positive Judaism Podcast on Itunes and Podomatic

Positive Judaism Summit 2019! Join us in Philadelphia, PA!


Positive Judaism: “Why are Religious People Healthier and Happier”
BigThink.com, September 2017


Positive Judaism: “How to Embrace Positivity in Judaism”
BigThink.com, October 2017


Positive Judaism Study Guides

Darren at Camp with heart photo

Each two-page study guide is designed to for a one-hour group session for people of all backgrounds. I often begin with a five minute guided meditation on the topic of each session and each lesson is a stand alone session. Click the title link below to download the lesson. Enjoy!

Guide #1: Inspired Living: Wisdom and Love 
Strengths: Wisdom: Open-minded, curious, creative, love of learning

Guide #2: When Living Hurts: Facing Life with Courage
Strengths: Courage: Bravery, perseverance, honesty, resilience

Guide #3: Love and Kindness: Personal Transformation and Change
Strengths: Humanity: Love, kindness, social intelligence

Guide #4: Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue: The Journey to Freedom
Strengths: Justice: Teamwork, fairness, leadership

Guide #5: To Forgive is to Love: Letting Go of Limitations
Strengths: Temperance: Forgiveness, humility, prudence, self regulation

Guide #6: Open to Hope: The Spirituality of Gratitude
Strengths: Transcendence: Appreciation of beauty, gratitude, hope, humor, spirituality


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

“Positive Judaism: A First Look for Clergy and Jewish Professionals”
CCAR Journal, pp 103-121, Summer 2017

Positive 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

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

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

visit www.positive-judaism.org to learn more