About Us

Welcome to the website of Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas.

Sh’ma invites a plurality of voices to engage with matters critical to contemporary Judaism. We aim to inspire Jews and fellow travelers to think deeply, act responsibly, and better our communities.

Who are Sh’ma Readers?

“They are deeply committed to Jewish tradition and Jewish continuity; spiritually curious and at times adventurous; at home, at least to some extent, with the world of Jewish texts and the texture of Jewish rituals; appreciative of the many genuine intellectual, ethical, and political benefits of secular modernity though not unaware of its fraught relationship with Jewish life; people for whom their Jewish identity is a vital component in an ongoing process of self-creation and expression by the light of their understanding of morals, community, and spirituality, a process they share with other families of humanity, and with concerned individuals everywhere.”

-Professor Yehudah Mirsky, Brandeis University Israel Center

Our Vision

Each month, Sh’ma creates a “conversation” in print, digital, and online forms that bring to­gether an array of voices around a single theme. These voices cross the spectrum of Judaism — secular and religious, communal and non-partisan, engaged and striving — and expose readers to challenging, sometimes conflicting ideas. We are guided in this approach by the wisdom of elu v’elu, both these and also these are the words of God. We raise relevant questions thoughtfully and wrestle lovingly with Jewish concerns as we attempt to navigate the intel­lectual, communal, and spiritual challenges of contemporary Judaism. Our focus is on ideas — their complexity and range, and how they inform action. Sh’ma hosts intelligent and cre­ative conversations that reside outside of any particular institution. Our readers turn to Sh’ma to find what they cannot find elsewhere — con­cise, accessible, informative, and intelligent discussion and argumentation. At the intersec­tion of tradition and change, Sh’ma helps read­ers confront modernity with a deep respect for Jewish values and accumulated wisdom, bring­ing to bear the richness of Jewish sources, texts, philosophy, and experience.

Are You One of Our Readers?

Join us as we pursue a multivocal Judaism. Use Sh’ma as your vehicle for study, your tool and resource for a lifelong Jewish journey. Read Sh’ma each month and visit our online S Blog daily to view the world through a Jewish lens that is inclusive, expansive, and thought provoking.

Sh’ma is published by the Sh’ma Institute, an independent nonprofit established by Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation, with the support of FJC: A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds.