KI has created a culture of participation, where members are encouraged to serve on the Board of Trustees, chair a committee, be a Minyan captain, learn to daven and lead a service, create a learning opportunity for themselves or others, or build a social action opportunity. Above all, KI is strongly intergenerational, where seniors and young adults daven together at Kabbalat Shabbat, teens and families work together on innovative social action programs, and learning partnerships stretch across the decades.
Nearly half a century ago, KI pioneered early childhood education by being among the first synagogues to open a preschool—and did it without requiring synagogue membership to attend. Our Preschool continues to adapt and expand, particularly in Hebrew language instruction. Along with expanded Hebrew Play classes and enriching Shabbat programming that includes Nitzanim (age 0 to 4), Mini-Minyan (Kindergarden & First Grade), Minyan Atid (Grades 2-6) and CuddleUp Shabbat, KI creates a warm and nurturing start to Jewish communal life.
Whether children are enrolled in our congregational school or our day schools, learning is for the entire family. Along with our special Shabbat services for all ages, KI brings families into the heart of our Shabbat morning sanctuary experience for seasonal Family Shul Saturdays to lead prayers, read Torah and Haftarah and to share teachings. By involving the entire family, we are able to emphasize the importance and centrality of Shabbat worship to the entire family.
We believe that students are not vessels to be filled, but rather fires to be kindled. By giving them a safe and engaging space and supportive opportunities to grow, they will be inspired and empowered to create their Jewish educational journey, through a wide breadth of knowledge and opportunities to dig deep into their own interests. Our goal is first and foremost to nurture a love of Judaism and the Jewish people, and to give our students a foundation of Jewish literacy and the tools that they need to be proud, informed, inquisitive Jews who participate fully in their Jewish community at KI and beyond. KI’s Religious School (KIRS) offers classes for students in kindergarten through seventh grade, and partners with Temple Israel for a high school program called the Monday Night School.
KI’s first century featured a period of unrivaled vitality (1940s-1960s) for teens, where role models were plentiful and peers encouraged Jewish commitment and entry into professional leadership. As we enter our second century, we are re-emphasizing the vital period of life between B’nei Mitzvah age and college to provide a greater focus on Shabbat community, contact with millennial role models, and justice work in and around the community.
KI is uniquely situated to serve as a meaningful gathering place for young professionals seeking to reconnect to Judaism and Shabbat. In the Spring of 2010, KI launched KICKS, the award-winning KI Community Kabbalat Shabbat program, which brings many young adults together every Friday night for spirited davening, dining, and singing. In the future we will expand our meaningful Shabbat experience with a cappella music, food, gathering, and learning to create an elevated and refreshing Friday night program.
384 (the name comes from KI’s street address) is a group of 20s & 30s who have come together to create a warm community of Jewishly engaged young adults who strive to create social programming with a soul. By welcoming both new faces and long-term members of every background, gender, and orientation, 384 has a created a unique and innovative laboratory for creating meaningful experiences. By encouraging leadership opportunities and partnering with other organizations, 384 offers a wide array of programming to meet the needs of a young professional.
A project of KI & Hillel: Base BSTN is focused on Congregation Kehillath Israel’s (KI’s) community of 20s & 30s. We are part of a national Base Movement that focuses on authentic engagement through home hospitality, Torah learning, and community service.
Not everyone feels comfortable joining a community through learning or davening. Friendship, shared interests, and traditions are also welcome pathways for bringing new faces into our vibrant community. Whether through traditional holiday celebrations like our Community Sukkah and city-wide Shavuot learning experiences or our very active softball teams, we create doorways that invite people in and draw them down pathways of greater engagement and fulfillment.
Innovative and empowering ritual practices are the core of the KI experience. By encouraging lay leaders to strengthen their davening skills and lead services, we deepen their Jewish knowledge and strengthen our community as a whole. Currently more than 150 congregants read Torah and lead services annually. By growing the Davening Corps—focusing on best practices, skill advancement, and deep learning—we enable every member of our community to learn and be able to lead the rituals of Jewish tradition.
Every year, KI chooses a “Library of Gratitude” book selection that is mailed to the entire congregation, with multiple discussion groups running concurrently throughout the community that meet monthly. With study offerings from beginning learners to weekly Talmud study, KI’s history of education continues. KI embraces Keva learning groups in conjunction with CJP, and actively promotes ways for our members to engage in regular text-based learning. Creating ways for working adults to set aside consistent time for Jewish learning that fits into the rhythms of the week is a high priority for KI. We plan to build upon the 40+ individuals currently engaged in bi-weekly learning with a study-partner (hevruta) to provide rich personal growth for many throughout our community for years to come.
One of the most compelling dimensions of our multi-generational campus is the many new opportunities for growth, inspiration and education for our seniors. In collaboration with the Town of Brookline, Hebrew Senior Life, and our anchor partner 2Life Communities, we bring an entirely new dynamism to senior life. Beyond conventional multigenerational connections between seniors and our preschoolers, KI is uniquely positioned to link our millennials with the seniors’ wisdom and life experience and provide in-depth daytime learning and worship.
Please call our Main Office or email the Rabbi with questions or details.