It is a pleasure to be the rabbi of this wonderful community. It is a congregation with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. I know that you will see the richness of our synagogue life whether we’re meeting in person or on Zoom, inside or outside!
At Kesher Israel, we want every individual or family to find their place within our community and Jewish tradition. We are a diverse congregation that welcomes anyone who is looking for a spiritual home in Chester County. This includes households where not every member of the household is Jewish. This includes LGBTQ people, Jews of Color, those who have converted to Judaism, or those who wish to become Jews by choice.
We believe that our tradition is open to everyone who is seeking meaning and connection in their lives. We strive to emulate that idea in our community every day.
Every Shabbat we hold prayer services that reflect our love of Torah, Jewish traditions, as well as incorporating music, meditation, and poetry from contemporary culture.
In terms of Friday nights: we have a KI Band and other musicians who do a monthly service, currently livestreamed, at 7PM. We have a new tradition of lighting candles together on Zoom at 6:45PM. We hope that you will join us and become part of our community.
We hold monthly Tot Shabbat and Family Services for children, young families, and their entourage, including all those who love kids. These services are followed by a family friendly Shabbat dinner where all are invited to sit at the table and schmooze after dinner as the children play. In the times of COVID we are revamping this tradition and watch your email, contact the office, or explore our website and the calendar of events for more details.
On Shabbat mornings, some weeks we do a full traditional service with Torah readings, Haftarah, and Mussaf and on others we sing a few psalms/songs of praise before taking a deep dive into that week’s Torah portion.
Our religious school is one of the centers of our congregation that exemplifies our commitment to Talmud Torah. Our students often begin in our preschool, come to the monthly Haverim play group for children 3-5 years old and their adults, continue with our religious school and then attend our Hebrew High School. We have family education programs where parents can participate and learn together with their children.
Our adult education program includes a variety of interesting and informative classes and programs, several of which I teach, and we participate in larger, community-wide, programs. Coming soon to a Zoom near you!
We hope that when you participate in our community you will feel that we embody the values explored above. In the meantime, peruse our website and learn who we are, what we believe and what we do.
Rabbi Shelley Goldman
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