Search

Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp on her transformative, Cincinnati-based community, JustLove


Founded by Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp with a team of four pastors and fourteen partner organizations, JustLove acts in a blue ocean of faith-based systemic activism, providing a unique place of inclusive belonging that centers not on what you think you SHOULD believe but rather how you are ACTING on your unique gifts as an individual. 


How does the concept of role change when we allow spiritual leadership to take its full shape?

Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp experiences the full range: from spending the night in Washington, D.C. after being arrested demonstrating to show support for DACA, to mopping the floor at Temple Sholom in Cincinnati, OH, where she serves the next morning. Miriam developed her thriving multifaith project called JustLove with us in the Glean Incubator last year. We caught up with her at the Rabbis Without Borders retreat in mid-February to talk about where her story intersects with ours. Watch below:



"During our worship events, there are no prayer books. Often the “liturgy” is adapted or original and taught in the moment so that no single person knows more than another, all entering the non-traditional space with different stories but landing on the same page. Events are led by diverse clergy representing Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist faiths as well non-religious music and poetry. The experience is designed to encourage connections with people who have different backgrounds but share a similar call in the world."


"JustLOVE serves as a faith lab that offers experiences, which connect people in spiritually meaningful ways for the purpose of Tikkun Olam. We do this through monthly worship and learning opportunities that are inclusive, racially and economically diverse, and multi-faith. These events provide an opportunity to creatively worship and revitalize ourselves outside of justice encounters. In addition to the monthly worship series, participants can engage in JustLove groups, which build organized power through monthly small groups, develop leadership and work towards specific justice goals. Additionally, we offer a network of clergy who are liturgically creative and provide multi-faith (and non-faith based) lifecycle rituals. Finally, we provide a scaffolding that brings existing faith and justice groups together to expand our reach."

The JustLove community includes:

  • Unaffiliated Jews (+/- 65% of Jewish attendees)

  • Affiliated Jews seeking justice opportunities (+/- 30% of Jewish attendees)

  • Those in multi-faith relationships (+/- 70% of attendees)

  • Those of other faiths (+/- 40%)

  • Those who identify as spiritual-but-not-religious (majority)


JustLove acts through:

Worship

Events are never in the same place, always held in non-typical locations, provide food, original liturgy, spoken word and music, and are led by leaders of multiple faith and spiritual backgrounds.

Activism

  • Engaged in protest activism around the deportation of Maribel Diaz. We held a 500-person action, mobilized faith leaders to meet with Senators Portman, Brown and Governor Kasich, featured nationally in the media in the NY Times, Rachel Maddow Show and local stations. Held a service for activists after Maribel was deported.

  • Marched at Pride Cincinnati as a faith group with Black Lives Matter Cincinnati.

  • Organized a faith-based Jericho march around the courthouse during the trial of Ray Tensing.

  • Hosted faith + responsibility conversation after Charlottesville

  • Partnered in several justice events and speaking series

  • Supported protest and wrote Op-Eds for persecution of gay minister in our city

  • Launched three JustLove small groups