Mission And Vision
Our Mission Statement is achieved by:
- Involving members throughout the year in an informal educational process, including but not limited to conventions, Shabbatons, leadership seminars, and social activities.
- Offering our members premier summer camp options that reinforce our educational and social mission.
- Providing long term and short term programs to Israel.
- Engaging our alumni with social and educational programs.
- Judaism: In all that we do, CYJ strives to impart a sense of value and love for Jewish tradition and rituals, for any and every religious background.
- Jewish Identity: By educating about Jewish heritage, history, and current affairs, CYJ seeks to instill a sense of pride in the Jewish people and in being Jewish.
- Israel: Believing that Israel is central to all Jewish life, CYJ’s primary goal is to emphasize Israel education. Through year round activities and spending time in Israel CYJ’ers have a unique opportunity to form an intimate and lifelong relationship with Israel.
A vibrant Jewish community, which we achieve through adopting the core values of Darkeinu.
Darkeinu – Our Way
Canadian Young Judaea is a pluralistic and inclusive movement of powerful Jewish youth who connect deeply to our past and actively strive to transform our present into an ideal future. We seek to ignite in our members a spirit of audacious, foresighted action, full of love for the Jewish people and our historical homeland, and imbued with the Jewish responsibility to heal the world. Our philosophy is based on five values that when taken together, constitute the core of the Jewish identity of the Young Judaean. True to our past and committed to our future, we keep our values at the root of everything we do.
Torah is defined as the totality of Jewish religious knowledge and comprises everything from the Five Books of Moses to current responsa.
The Torah is important and meaningful as a legal code, a set of guidelines to live by, and as our collective narrative it is the tie that binds our people. Regardless of our level of observance of mitzvot, we can live our lives inspired by Torah, as its values are the foundation and the basis of Judaism.
It is etz chaim – the Tree that gives us life, which has many branches.
We promote pluralism in our interpretation of Torah, and we take seriously the teaching that no Jew has the right to judge another.
Our goal is to show our members the importance and beauty of Torah in our past and present, to promote their personal explorations of different perspectives, and to provide a safe, accepting and positive environment for this exploration.
Through programming we teach our members about its role in our history, the importance of Medinat Yisrael as a national homeland for the Jewish people, and its impact on our Jewish identity.
Through our teachings of the past and present we encourage our members to deepen their understanding of the complexities of Medinat Yisrael, accepting all viewpoints with a shared love and concern for its future.
This lays the foundation of love for Zion in our members, encouraging them to visit Medinat Yisrael, providing them with a deeper and more meaningful experience.
Our primary mode of communication with our members is through our actions; as there is no message more clearly received than the one we send through our daily conduct.Thus we believe in Hadracha B’dugmah, leadership by example, and at every moment must be dugmaot of our principles.
At the very least, this means that we should present, and in its truest form become an example of what we believe. We are all created b’tzelem Elokim, in the image of God and in all our interactions, we will relate to and treat one another with kavod, honour, in full recognition of the inherent holiness of each individual. This awe of one another will be reflected in our language, our actions, and our uses of power, both structurally and informally. We believe in enriching our chevra through g’milut chesed, acts of kindness.
Our understanding of leadership comes from the BILU, who boldly acted on their beliefs, and in the spirit of their mantra – l’chu v’nelcha – left home for an unknown future about which they were passionate. We strive to embody their confidence, their commitment to their beliefs, and their willingness to move against the current of their time.
Every member can become a better leader and we do not believe that there are only natural born leaders and natural born followers. Instead, we look to develop each member to his or her fullest potential, as leadership is a process.
“Lo alecha hamlacha ligmor; v’lo ata ben chorin l’hibatel.”
“It is not up to you to complete the work; neither are you free to desist from it.” Pirke Avot.
We believe that the world is incomplete and needs the work of humans to mend it and while it may work best when accompanied by compassion, that is not the prime reason for performing acts of Tikkun Olam. As Jewish people, we have a responsibility to help other Jews, other human beings, and our natural world. We learn from the dugma of Medinat Yisrael, which sacrifices money, time, and the lives of its citizens to save Jews and non-Jews in need around the world.
As Israel plays a humanitarian role in the world out of proportion to its size and resources, so too will we aim to heal our world beyond the narrow expectations set for those of our age, number, and material resources. As Israel is a dugma for us, we too will be dugmanim for others and will learn about injustice, act to stop it, and grow to embody Tikkun Olam. Not only will we heal the world; we will become healers.
Tikkun Olam includes large-scale, global actions, and small-scale, local actions and there is merit and achievement in acts of any size. To heal the world we must first heal ourselves. We teach our members the power of a chevra to change the world and the world changing power of building a chevra.
Am Yisrael, the nation of Israel, is the totality of the Jewish people, who live in many parts of the world but share Israel as their spiritual homeland. As Canadian Jews, we appreciate the dynamic mosaic of Jewish life and teach about Jewish life in other countries, eras and denominations.
We place special importance on the similarities between all Jews and seek to demonstrate the connections that exist between us, which demonstrates the existence of a global Jewish community – K’lal Yisrael – that spans all borders and is timeless. This k’lal, this bond, is the foundation for an unconditional love of every Jew.We take it upon ourselves to strengthen our community so that we are continually worthy of our mission to be Or L’Amim, a light unto the nations.
Judaism comes alive in our collective history, religious teachings, and identity. When we identify ourselves as Jews we are connected to K’lal Yisrael, and the same connection we have to one another as Jews, we have to Eretz Yisrael.