Etz Hayim is a wonderful, sacred community, a Kehilah Kedoshah. We are a warm, inclusive congregation that reveres and embraces the rich heritage of our Jewish traditions and teachings. As a modern, egalitarian community living in America, we encourage diversity and freedom of expression, recognizing that each of us chooses our own path in Judaism. We seek to integrate our Jewish identity and observances in our daily lives, and we engage in Torah study and self-reflection to harmonize our behaviors and our beliefs.
We call the Torah, the Hebrew Bible, Etz Hayim. It is a powerful metaphor, for we stand proud, roots firmly planted in the ground, with our solid foundation in Jewish traditional texts and law. However, just like a tree, the leaves change with the season. We grow in our learning and our understanding of texts. We are exploring more interpretations, creating new activities – always changing, always moving. We are truly a Tree of Life.
Congregational learning is the vehicle through which we broaden our understanding and experience of Judaism. It is the bridge that connects the insights learned from the rich traditions of our people, in order to face the challenges of the society we live in.
We believe in communal participation, both in our sacred community and outside. Communal participation fills our sacred space with transcendent energy and shared joy. Our community participates actively during services, as well as being involved with the community at large. Etz Hayim is truly present in the community. We are involved in social action, and also in caring for each other, in learning, and in worship. Combining study and action, and tailoring our efforts to appeal to different backgrounds, ages, and identities, our community continually strives to foster engagement in life-long learning. By drawing on the vast and varied experiences of our members, we seek to learn from one another, maintain the continuity of our honored customs, and cultivate a new generation of leaders to sustain our future.
Welcome home to Congregation Etz Hayim. You belong here.