The values of the KI community arise out of Jewish tradition and out of our engagement with contemporary life within the Jewish and secular worlds. Our core principles include:
Welcoming to All (B’rukhim Ha-Ba’im)
In accordance with the tradition of hospitality going back to Abraham and Sarah, Kehillat Israel strives to be a kehillah mekabelet, a welcoming and inclusive congregation.
We welcome Jews from every walk of life, including those with disabilities, from different races, from non-traditional and interfaith families, as well as people from all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Potential members are never turned away on the basis of economic status. We welcome anyone who wants to participate in our synagogue community. All services, including High Holidays, are open to everyone who wishes to attend.
All are welcome here!
(Also see “Welcoming Guests.”)
Since its founding, Kehillat Israel has relied on members for leadership in ritual life, in education and in the various programs and activities that enrich our community. We encourage active “followership” as well: congregants are not passive observers but lively participants in our services, and all members are expected to find a place where they can lend a hand in making our community work. Full participation also means full rights: women and men have always had the same access to ritual and leadership roles, and we urge teenaged members to take on adult responsibility in the religious community.
In our participatory congregation, the breadth of members’ backgrounds and experience is a source of strength. In this way we draw the best efforts from the women and men who lead our services, lead and participate in our committees, and teach our children and each other. We strive to provide a supportive community throughout the cycle of the Jewish year and the cycles of our lives.
The Jewish tradition places great value on education. It is in part through study and learning that we come to know God and how we ought to live our lives. In learning together, we also come to know our study partners, and with them, build community. Kehillat Israel has maintained a commitment to excellent religious education throughout our existence, raising young people who are knowledgeable and engaged in their Judaism. That commitment extends to adult learners as well. We provide various opportunities for members to expand their knowledge and skills, no matter what level they begin at, through programs led by the rabbi, by other members, and by outside guests.
To practice tikkun olam means to devote our efforts to the healing and repairing of the world, and Kehillat Israel takes this Jewish obligation seriously. Mindful of the tradition of the Hebrew prophets, we involve ourselves in activities that build strong communities and uplift those in need, that promote social justice and tzedakah, and that attend to our responsibility for stewardship of the earth.