Shir Tikvah's Mission
• We are coming together as a community to provide a place of Jewish worship, learning and assembly, and to engage in various other activities that will promote the spiritual and educational welfare of our members.
• Our focus is the building of a caring, inclusive community in the spirit of liberal Judaism. We are committed to a participatory and democratic process both in congregational governance and in ritual.
• We welcome individuals and families of varying Jewish lifestyles. We are particularly sensitive to the need for inclusion of both traditional and nontraditional family structures, and for the development of an appropriately inclusive ritual life that enriches our Jewish experience.
• We are fully committed to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of gender, marital status, race, age, or sexual orientation in all aspects of congregational life. This will include, but not be limited to membership, Rabbinic and lay leadership, employment, and ritual involvement.
• Our personal philosophies and practices may vary widely among us. However, we are united in a common commitment to Judaism and to furthering our spiritual growth individually and communally. We desire to do this within a liberal Jewish context, and by working together, along with Rabbinic leadership, to develop meaningful Jewish worship.
• We recognize that study of Torah is an ongoing life-long process. Development of Jewish identity and knowledge of our traditions will begin with religious and Hebrew education programs for children and continue with appropriate programming for adults. We hope to encourage and support one another as we grow in our studies and apply the wisdom and principles of our heritage in acts of loving kindness and social responsibility.
From then to now.
Shir Tikvah was born in 1988 when a small group shared a common vision: a new synagogue in the spirit of liberal Judaism that would welcome and encourage the participation of individuals and families of varying Jewish lifestyles. They envisioned a synagogue that was personal, welcoming and active in Torah study and social action. They wondered whether others in the community would be interested.
The answer became clear a few weeks later, when more than 200 people attended the first informational meeting. From there, things moved quickly. In May, the new congregation held its first Shabbat service, and by August Rabbi Stacy K. Offner had been hired to lead the 40-household congregation.
By the end of the year, the congregation had a name, Shir Tikvah, meaning Song of Hope, and a membership of 80 households. At the end of the second year Shir Tikvah was a congregation of 120 households. Shir Tikvah moved into its current building in 1994, and now has a vibrant membership of more than 425 households.