Mission & History

Romemu is attempting to transform the way Judaism is practiced and experienced by infusing aspects of Eastern spiritual practices with traditional Orthodox influences, so the ta’am or “taste” is unmistakably Jewish.

Committed to powerful prayer and transformative spiritual practices, Romemu attempts to engage the heart, mind and body in everything we do, helping us to foster greater levels of compassion.

We believe that Judaism offers spiritual seekers and skeptics alike a path that celebrates our wholeness and provides practical, grounded ways to heal our brokenness. We are committed to helping to birth a post-denominational Judaism that transcends ideologies and labels, that is joy-based and contemplative, ecstatic and reverential, connected to our tradition, yet open to truth, wherever it is found.

A Brief History of Romemu

Rabbi David’s path began with an orthodox upbringing, steeped in love of Torah and all things Hasidic and mystical. He spent many years learning Eastern religions, immersing in the works of Carl Jung, and engaging deeply in body practices. Rabbi Ingber was moved to re-engage with Jewish life when he found his teacher, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the founder of “Jewish Renewal” (for a definition, see below).

After two years as Rabbi-in-residence at the Elat Chayim Spiritual Retreat Center, Rabbi David began Romemu with a monthly service on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in March of 2006. He invited others who were looking for an accessible place to join him in the practice of a compassionate, Jewish life.

After two years of part-time services, in 2008 the Romemu community came together and became a full-time congregation, led by Rabbi David, with an extraordinary group of congregants seeking a Judaism they had only imagined possible. That year, Romemu held its first High Holiday service with a borrowed Torah, a converted armoire as an ark and a rush of excitement. Since then we continue to build a community that embraces the Divine Image in each of us.

 

Jewish Renewal Defined

“Jewish Renewal is a phenomenon, not a denomination.”

“Renewal resembles Reform Judaism in some ways, Reconstructionism in other ways, and even Orthodoxy — especially Hasidism — in some ways. But it is not a denomination with a formal hierarchy or structure.”

“Renewal is the ongoing creative project of a generation of Jews who are seeking to renew Judaism and bring its spiritual and ethical vitality into our lives and communities, and at the same time embrace a global vision of the role of all human beings and spiritual paths in the transformation of life on this precious planet.”

—from Jewish Renewal by Rabbi Marcia Prager