Our Mission

 Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house
To the land that I will show you.
I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you shall be a blessing (Genesis 12:1-2)

The Judaism on Our Own Terms Network is a national movement of independent campus Jewish organizations committed to promoting student self-governance and radical inclusivity – both on our individual campuses and in the wider Jewish community.

Though we represent a diverse set of communities with various ideologies and missions, we are united by our five principles for Jewish campus life:

  1. Establish and support democratically-run Jewish campus organizations by and for students within which students have the primary authority to determine leadership structure, and collectively decide rules, programming, and organizational mission.

  2. Resolve never to jeopardize student needs in the name of donors’ political interests.

  3. Protect and empower Jewish students facing increasingly common attempts to silence their voices, perspectives, and political opinions — especially regarding Israel/Palestine — by working against attempts to intimidate students.

  4. Embrace students’ diverse Jewish identities and understandings of “being Jewish” without political litmus tests or assumptions about sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or class.

  5. Create vibrant Jewish spaces for ritual, discourse, and engagement with social justice issues, along with mechanisms for these spaces to share resources and support one another.

This will not be easy work, but we believe it is a crucial next step for the long-term sustainability and vibrancy of the North American Jewish community. We are excited to begin this work of building student-run, democratically administered, inclusive Jewish communities on campuses.

We invite our fellow Jewish students to join with us by either building new student-run groups or committing existing organizations to this mission.

Together, we can shape the future of American Jewish discourse and community; the independent Jewish communities of today will foster the independent Jewish leaders of tomorrow.

Signed,

UC Davis Jewish Student Union

Occidental College Jewish Student Union

Bryn Mawr & Haverford’s Bi-Co Jews for Inclusion

Tufts University AltJ

Clark University JGAF

Jewish Students of Carleton College (JSC)

Brown University Friday Night Jews

Nishmat at the Claremont Colleges

Smith College Jewish Community

Grinnell College Chalutzim

Northwestern Jewish Progressive Alliance

Princeton’s Alliance of Jewish Progressives

Progressive Jewish Alliance of Harvard Law School