You’ll find Kehillah a little different—fresher, truer—in many ways.
Our membership is an eclectic mix of neighbors and newcomers, young families and retirees, interfaith and traditional households, as well as gay/lesbian partnerships. And because it so squarely aligns with our mission to marry the traditional with contemporary social, intellectual and spiritual insights, we are affiliated with the Jewish Reconstructionist movement.
Our Shabbat services range from a warm, intimate Friday night service to Saturday morning services rich with Hebrew and tradition, and monthly Tot Shabbat services and “Shabbat Shira” filled with music, singing and dancing.
Rabbi Jen guides us with thought-provoking insights and discussions. Her approach is both down-to-earth and ‘in the moment.’ Our prayer books are accessible to everyone. Each of our Life Cycle events is as unique as the member(s) it’s commemorating.
Our mission: Kehillah Synagogue is an inclusive and engaged Jewish community that inspires people’s lives and deepens Jewish involvement through Jewish celebration, worship, education, social action, and values. Kehillah is a place where members feel they can grow, matter, and belong.
Our vision: Kehillah Synagogue envisions a vibrant, dynamic, nurturing Jewish congregation that is an integral part of a peaceful, just, and compassionate community.
Our values: At Kehillah Synagogue, we strive to uphold specific values in our actions and our beliefs. This begins with our name, Kehillah, which means “community”. We employ communal decision-making based on Reconstructionist values and hishtatfut, the engagement of our membership in all aspects of the life of our community. We espouse talmud torah, the study of Jewish teachings, through life-long Jewish learning, and seek kedusha (holiness) and simcha (joy) in Jewish practices and life.
We value masoret, or the chain of tradition passed down from generation to generation. Our sacred tradition precedes us and carries on after us. We participate in this continuity by reinterpreting ancient customs to be relevant for our times and creating new traditions to meet evolving needs.
Because of all of this, we value egalitarianism (shivyoniyut), or the belief in human equality. This connects with other values we seek to uphold, such as derech eretz (mutual respect), tikkun olam (seeking social justice through social action to repair the world), tzedakah (the duty of righteous giving), and gemilut chasadim (caring for others through acts of loving kindness).
These values all come together in the spirit of K’lal Yisrael, our unity and solidarity with the entirety of the worldwide Jewish people.
Where we think together
For decisions that affect us all—our synagogue, our services, our education—Kehillah engages in a process called Values Based Decision Making (VBDM). We use VBDM for large, community-wide decisions and for decisions made in smaller groups. It’s a way to make decisions based on Jewish tradition and history, communal values and preconceptions, and relevant data.
For example, we needed a kashrut/food policy for Kehillah events. We looked beyond our experiences and preconceptions. We studied a variety of Jewish texts. We considered our Jewish and modern values, such as our desire to share food in community and care for the environment. After collating all this information, we arrived at our current policy. It’s working better than expected and, most importantly, everyone’s input was respected.
For more information about our community developed guidelines see: