Who We Are
Temple Sha’arey Shalom is a mid-sized Reform congregation that is immensely proud of its more than 60-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 six 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 60 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. 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 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, our wonderful Religious School and our wide-range of adult education opportunities. At Sha'arey Shalom, we have developed a reputation for excellence in learning.
Finally, Sha'arey Shalom is a place for Jewish community, in the best sense. There are so many ways we involve and interact with one another. We boast an incredibly active and wonderful Sisterhood, an absolutely terrific Brotherhood, and a Renaissance Group of members ages 50+ which is the envy of so many synagogues. We offer a unique program called "Health Initiative," an active Youth Group and Junior Youth Group, and an award-winning Social Action program that reaches out to the wider community.
Erev Shabbat Worship (Friday evenings)
Erev Shabbat services are on Friday evenings, beginning at 8:00pm.
Shabbat Morning Study & Worship (Saturday mornings)
Shabbat Minyan – 9:15am
Shabbat Shalem: Monthly - 10:30 am – 11:30 am
First Saturday of the month.
A Shabbat Morning Worship Experience with Rabbi Renee.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Service – 10:30am
Open to all, this Main Sanctuary service celebrates those in our community who are fulfilling the mitzvah of becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Yoga Shalom – Monthly at 10:30am
A unique worship experience that brings together body, mind and spirit.
- Shabbat Under the Stars
Join us on Friday, September 6th for Shabbat Under the Stars (Rain or Shine). BBQ dinner begins at 6:00pm and Services start at 7:00pm.
- Salute to Veterans 5k and Fun Run
Union County 3rd Annual Salute to Veterans 5K & Fun Run benefiting Temple Sha’arey Shalom & New Jersey Veteran’s Network.