The Kol Emet Vision Statement defines the congregation we aspire
to be. The Mission Statement defines how we get there.
Kol Emet will continue to be an inclusive, caring Jewish congregation
whose members seek to evolve spiritually and educationally.
Kol Emet will strive to engage its members, create connections
and enrich their lives.
Kol Emet will be an intimate, enduring and dynamic home for all
Kol Emet is a Reconstructionist Jewish Congregation that strives
to encourage spiritual fulfillment, happiness and meaning for
its members and their families through interactive worship, life-long
education and service to our community and the larger world.
What is a Reconstructionist Jew?
As Reconstructionist Jews we are willing to question conventional answers and keep open minds. We are Jews who take the Jewish tradition seriously and live Jewish lives We believe that just as Jewish civilization has adapted to new circumstances throughout Jewish history, so must it adapt to modern North American society. We Reconstructionists tend to conduct more intimate worship services in which everyone is involved. Being a Reconstructionist indicates active participation - the reconstruction of Jewish life and tradition to integrate it with the particular lifestyle that each of us chooses. As members of the Reconstructionist community we commit ourselves to ongoing study, to discussions of issues and to intelligent decision-making. As Reconstructionists we focus on mitzvot, social action and social equality.
We are a diverse community actively involved in social action, education
and worship that depends on congregation-wide participation for
As a Reconstructionist community we recognize the spiritual needs
of all of our members. Through intimate, participatory services
we try to find ways to sense and manifest the divine presence in
our lives. Our prayer book makes prayers accessible through transliteration
and a balance of Hebrew and English. The service can be enhanced
by the accompaniment of instrumental music.
We strive to meet the educational needs of all of our congregants
through a wide range of programs such as continuing education and
Torah study for adults, and religious school for children from kindergarten
through high school. By utilizing a curriculum based on prayer book
fluency, Jewish values and beliefs, rituals and practices, our goal
is to promote quality Jewish memories that will inspire our young
people to continue their Jewish education.
We believe as Reconstructionists that as we serve our fellow human
beings we serve as partners with God in the spirit of mitzvah. At
Kol Emet our congregants have historically been involved in social
and political action. We expect all of our members to express their
individual commitment to social and political involvement regardless
of their religious affiliation. Through Tikun Olam, we accept responsibility
for the well being of the greater world of which we are part by
performing such acts as assisting the elderly and the less fortunate.
In Reconstructionist circles, women have been taking an active role
in leadership and ritual since the early 1950s, a generation before
this became common elsewhere. Continuing in this tradition, women
at Kol Emet have the equal opportunity to lead the congregation,
participate in all prayer rituals including aliyahs, Torah readings,
and minyanim. The Reconstructionist prayer book utilizes language
that recognizes the contributions women have made to the spiritual
growth of the Jewish people.
The non-Jewish partner is recognized as a full member of the congregation,
welcomed to participate completely in all social, religious and
leadership aspects of Kol Emet. A non-Jewish member can hold any
board position, except president and vice president of the synagogue.
At Kol Emet, as throughout all Reconstructionism, a child is recognized
as Jewish if either the mother or father is Jewish.
Today we must live and work with the awareness that we ourselves
can and do make changes. From the Reconstructionist perspective,
what is constant; in Judaism are the Jewish people and their devotion
to the highest ideals of the religious civilization. The Jewish
people who share in this devotion should determine in any given
era what Judaism would be like. Because of our reverence for our
past we must carefully think through how we will reconstruct Judaism
in every generation.