Temple Sha’arey Shalom is a mid-sized Reform congregation that is immensely proud of its more than 50-year legacy of Jewish devotion and commitment. We are a diverse community of Jews of all ages, shapes and sizes. We warmly welcome interfaith and other non-traditional families into our inclusive, egalitarian style. It is a place to build relationships, to connect, to learn and to grow.
We are a warm, engaging congregation that strives for dynamic Jewish living. In addition to nurturing your religious and spiritual soul, there is a wide array of educational, informational, entertaining and social programs to enhance the Temple experience. Special programs, activities and events include lectures, workshops, panel discussions, community-service opportunities, adult bar/bat mitzvahs, conversational Hebrew classes, book discussion groups, speakers and trips. The temple boasts extremely active Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Youth and Renaissance (seniors) groups as well.
Over the past five decades, our Temple has enriched Jewish lives in more ways than we can count. In the words of one member: “One of the greatest decisions of our lives was the choice to join Temple Sha’arey Shalom. Our affiliation has given us connections to our tradition and community that have comforted us in sorrow, educated us, challenged us, rejoiced us, grounded us in faith, enriched us through friendship, and strengthened our very identities. Belonging to Sha’arey Shalom is a privilege.”
Temple Sha'arey Shalom celebrates more than 50 years of service to our community, with a wonderful sense of vitality. We are a Reform synagogue that is engaging, family-oriented, and devoted to offering fulfilling Jewish experiences on social, spiritual and educational levels.
As a House of Worship, we recognize that prayer speaks to modern Jews in different ways. That is why Sha'arey Shalom has developed a variety of worship experiences. Our Friday evening services beginning at 8:00pm, with Family Shabbat starting at 7:30pm, are always inclusive and egalitarian. We take pride in the number of members who participate, often chanting abbreviated Torah portions. We love to sing, enhanced by our wonderful adult and junior choirs. We love to think about the issues of the days as they impact Judaism, as articulated by the Rabbi. We love to join our Cantor as she leads us in a variety of musical styles. And we love to engage in a worship style that is vibrant and alive. The first Friday of each month is generally a Family Shabbat characterized by warmth, storytelling, and song. Younger children join us at an earlier hour for "Tot Shabbat", on the 3rd Friday of most months, with age-appropriate activities. And we now use the new Reform prayer book, Mishkan T'Filah, for our services.
Then there's Shabbat morning! Each week a group of adults meet for Shabbat Morning Study Minyan, a lay-led study and an informal service. At the same time, a 45-minute service takes place in the Sanctuary for grades K-3 and their parents. We talk about the mitzvot children have performed each week, we sing, we hear a story from the Torah, and we have a great time. At 10:30am, we hold yet a third opportunity for a Shabbat morning worship experience: Bar/Bat Mitzvah. We are so pleased that our 13-year olds feel proud of their achievements. Our Rabbi and Cantor make certain to "personalize" the milestone so that the day is recognized not as the end of Jewish learning, but a stage in a life-long Jewish journey.
The spirit of our educational programs is contagious! You'll see it in the smiling face of a three-year old sitting on the Rabbi's lap, the pride of a high school student being confirmed on Shavuot, the joy of a 50-year old celebrating an adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah or adult Confirmation, the achievement of an interfaith couple completing Intro to Judaism classes, or simply the fulfillment that comes from discovering new insights from our rich heritage. Religious School now extends through the 12th Grade with special monthly programs. We are immensely proud of our superb full time Preschool, led by Nancy Kovacs, our wonderful Religious School led by Cantor Amy Daniels, and our wide-range of adult education opportunities. At Sha'arey Shalom, we have developed a reputation for excellence in learning.