KAVOD COMMUNITY PRINCIPLES
Vibrant Jewish Practice:
Vibrant and creative Jewish practice is central to our community. We embrace the variety of ways our members express Judaism and spirituality.
Cooperative & Collective Ownership:
We center our intersectional justice values in our communal culture, our activism and organizing, and in the stewardship and distribution of our resources. We are committed to creating and holding space for challenging and dynamic conversations and engagement.
Rooted in Relationships:
We show up for one another in times of joy and hardship, and nurture a feeling of belonging among our members. We cultivate deep and sustainable relationships with Jewish and non-Jewish partner organizations across Greater Boston and nationally.
We prioritize and honor young adult leadership. We actively encourage our members to remain engaged in our community as they age.
Our home base is a welcoming, cozy, consistent, and predictable space that feels like ours. We work creatively and flexibly to meet the needs of our members across Greater Boston.
Transformational Leadership Development:
We support our members in cultivating tools, skills, and insights for effective and meaningful participation, engagement, and leadership in our community and beyond.
Our community thrives because of the unique talents and potential of our members. We support our members by valuing all contributions to our community and by respecting our capacity and limits.
מֶסוֹרָה | Mesorah - Tradition, That Which is Transmitted
As Jews, we know our existence and resilience over thousands of years comes from the strength of the collective and its commitment to deep care. While we have grown stronger in our resistance to systemic oppression, we have also perpetuated it within our own relationships and communities. We draw from the ancestral wisdom of our holy texts, rituals, and practices to prevent and respond to the harm perpetrated within and by our community. We honor and build upon the work that has sustained intentional communities like Kavod for generations, both inside and outside the Jewish world.
כָּבוֹד הָבְּרִיוֹת | Kavod Ha’briyot - Honoring Human Dignity
We believe that each of us is inherently valuable. We name and address differences in power in cases of interpersonal harm. We resist the either/or thinking between victims and perpetrators in a world where we all simultaneously experience and enact oppressive behaviors. We reject a widespread culture of alienation, punishment, and disposability, and work toward one of relationships, connection, and courage. Our accountability processes embrace the complexities of who we are, while upholding dignity, agency, and consent.
תוֹכֶחָה | Tochecha - Loving Critique
We honor and practice loving critique because love is critical to liberation. As our holy texts teach us, love without ongoing self-evaluation is no love at all. We give ourselves permission to consider conflict a generative opportunity for deep learning because we know that love is not enough to break down lifelong patterns of oppressive behavior, both as individuals and as a community. We believe Kavod’s loving foundation will hold us as we confront internal conflict, disrupt the status quo, and commit to accountability for a freer future.
כֹּל ישְׂרָאֵל עָרֵבִים זֵה בָּזֵה | Kol Yisrael Arevim Ze Ba Zeh - Responsiblility for One Another
We believe that accountability is both a communal obligation and a sacred opportunity to practice for the world as it should be. Commitment to community means a commitment to recognizing and acting on our collective responsibility to address and prevent harm. We draw on our strengths and resources to support those who have been harmed. We work to remove material and emotional barriers that often stand in the way of taking accountability. We also commit to fostering spaces where individuals can bravely reflect on and transform internalized, interpersonal, and institutionalized ways of perpetuating harm within and by way of Kavod.
הִשְׁתָדְלוּת | Hishtadlut - Personal Work
We hope that our values-driven culture, bolstered by our formal accountability structures, help create the conditions for transformation to flourish in our community. When personally invited into processes of accountability, each of us is individually called upon to authentically engage in the work however possible. We recognize that even under the most favorable circumstances, total healing & repair is never a guarantee. We hope, however, that all who choose to engage in the process find within it inherent value, because when we wholeheartedly commit to the messiness of the work, we can unlock the potential for radical change.
נֶצָח | Netzach - Endurance
We appreciate that the road to communal and personal transformation is a long one, extending well beyond the timeline of any individual accountability process. We commit to remaining steadfast on that journey in partnership with one another. Harm is built over time, and the work to repair harm will, too, take time. We divest from a success/failure binary & from expectations of quick “results”. Instead we invest in supporting sustainable change over our lifetimes and throughout future generations of our beloved community.
We invest in local organizing rooted in long-term relationships within our community and in solidarity with our partner organizations.
We participate in and lead projects and campaigns that aim to build grassroots power, educate ourselves and our networks, challenge oppressive systems and institutions, improve material conditions for all communities, and imagine and create the alternative structures we all need to thrive.
We commit to using several different strategies to achieve these goals, such as: political education; mobilizing money, resources, votes and people; direct support and logistical support; network building; transforming internal culture and practices; and strategy development.
We are flexible in shifting our work and priorities to align with the passions, capacities and needs of our members and our partner communities and movements.
We root our organizing in our Jewish traditions and histories, often integrating Jewish practices and rituals to sustain ourselves and our work.
As a radically inclusive, multiracial, cross-class, queer, feminist, Jewish community, the work we take on internally (racial equity, communal accountability/transformative justice, disability justice, and gender justice) and our powerful communal structures and principles (volunteer-led, community-owned, decentralized, etc) inform and inspire the work we do in the wider world.
*In prioritizing the projects and campaigns we participate in and/or lead, we consider whether and how:
Our unique model relates to or supports the vision of a specific project or campaign;
Our communal and individual networks offer power, relationships and/or resources for a specific project or campaign;
The identities held in our community are connected or impacted by an issue and/or how they provide greater resources or support in building power for a specific project or campaign.*