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Our Philosphy

University Synagogue is a Kehillah Mekabelet, a welcoming congregation.  Our values-based approach believes and supports the following statement, which first appeared in a report prepared by the Reconstructionist movement in 1993:

“We regard the Jewish values that affirm the inherent dignity, integrity and equality of human beings as having primacy over historically conditioned attitudes based on . . . texts that condemn homosexuality as an abomination. It is our duty to correct the misunderstandings and resulting injustice of the past and to fulfill the Jewish obligation to seek justice.”

As a community, we affirm what Rabbi Joshua Lesser wrote in Reconstructionism Today, Autumn 2003, Volume 11, Number 1:

“…whereas the halakha has recognized homosexuality simply as a sexual act, we recognize it as a fundamental aspect of identity that deserves to be treated with the Jewish value of b’tzelem elohim (respect for human beings as made in God’s image).

Rabbi Rachlis officiates at same-sex weddings and commitment ceremonies, and our community grants access to the same lifecycle and membership privileges enjoyed by heterosexual Jews.

It is our duty as a movement to set an example for all religious movements by reaching for inclusion based on our spiritual values.

Our Havurah

University Synagogue is proud to be the home of Orange County’s first LGBT havurah.