Our Vision

Shaarei Shamayim is a growing, open, pluralistic congregation of 150 households. We believe that Judaism is a means for bringing justice, holiness, and joy to our world, and we are building Jewish community rooted in creativity and authenticity. We are reimagining the possibilities for Jewish life, identity, and community.

We invite people of varied Jewish backgrounds to join us. We value the participation of singles, families, twenty- and thirty-somethings, and empty-nesters. We are LBGTQ and interfaith inclusive, strive to accommodate people with disabilities, and welcome Jews-by-choice and Jews of color.

We embrace community. We create space for our members and friends to deepen their Jewish lives, reconnect to their Judaism, or encounter it for the first time. We do this through our monthly havurot (fellowship groups), Shabbat potlucks, learning opportunities, social justice work, and congregational committees. We do it by dropping off a lasagna when there’s a new baby or by driving a fellow member to chemo. We find going through life with others is preferable to going it alone.

We know there are many ways to encounter holiness and deep purpose in our lives. We are secular, spiritual, religious, and none of the above. We try to create a meaningful ritual life through Shabbat gatherings, meditation, Torah study, prayer, storytelling, life cycle ceremonies, and holiday celebrations. 

Celebrating young people is one of our core values. Our educational programs for children and teens foster critical thinking, self-reflection, and curiosity, helping students explore the wisdom of Jewish tradition and finding relevance in it today.  We attend our community's bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies so we can support our young people as they journey into adulthood.  

Working for social justice is another core value of ours. We are inspired by Jewish tradition to fight for a sustainable world, care for the vulnerable, and create racial and economic justice. We invite speakers to share their knowledge on current issues, partner with community organizations to amplify our voices, and get involved in local efforts to make our city, region, and world a better place for everyone.

We believe that having difficult conversations, grounded in deep listening and respect for others, is essential to creating a vibrant community. Rather than pushing controversial issues away, we study, debate, and share ideas so that we can all grow wiser. 

We hope you will challenge us, inspire us, and add your unique voice to our community.