Mission and Values

Temple Emanu-El is a vibrant Reform Jewish community that strives to be a place of sacred encounter. It is a place where learning, prayer and deeds change people’s understanding of themselves, of their world and their responsibilities in it.

We affirm the power of Jewish learning to create and deepen Jewish identity and commitment. Lifelong Jewish learning—from childhood through adulthood—brings Jewish values to our daily lives, nurtures spiritual experiences, and both anchors and challenges us to reach out to a world in need.

We celebrate the potential of prayer to help us reach out to God, root ourselves in community, and affirm the most deeply held values of our people and our faith. Jewish observance at home and at Temple nurtures and inspires both faith and deed. We see the creation of enriching Jewish homes as a fundamental obligation of synagogue life.

At Temple Emanu-El, the creation of a vibrant and meaningful community is both an enduring value and an ongoing endeavor. For us, community means a sense of warm welcome, meaningful relationships, and mutual responsibility. We affirm a sense of both valued boundaries and a great respect for diversity. We celebrate our identity as a multi-generational community. We envision the relationship between congregants, clergy and staff as a partnership based upon mutual respect, shared Jewish commitment, and ongoing Jewish growth. That relationship is manifest in a governance structure which is democratic and reflects the diversity of our congregation.

We emphasize the ethical ideals of social justice at the core of the Jewish tradition. This covenantal obligation frames our actions in terms of our relationship to God and to Jewish tradition. It is Temple Emanu-El’s obligation to engage in the ongoing task of world repair. We value being an integral part of and contributor to the total Dallas community.

As Reform Jews, we exist in vital relationship to our own movement and to the Jewish people as a whole. We understand that a fundamental connection exists between Temple Emanu-El and the Jews in Israel and the rest of the world, and we acknowledge our responsibility in promoting the concept of pluralism in the Jewish world.

— Core Values Statement approved by the Temple Emanu-El Board of Trustees on April 10, 2000