Kehilat Chaverim. A Community of Friends...A welcoming cooperative where Judaism is celebrated.
The History of High Holidays observances at Kehilat Chaverim
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A group of us first gathered in 1978 to discuss what
kind of “alternative Jewish community,” as we referred
to it then, we wanted. We agreed that it should be
inclusive in every sense—with services for people with
some, a little, or no Jewish background. For those who
couldn’t read Hebrew, we would translate, transliterate
and explain the words.
Rather than use a traditional service book, we wrote
our own, incorporating prayers and recitations that we
felt were meaningful. Rather than appoint a single
leader, members participated by taking responsibility for
organizing and running the services.
From the beginning, different members have volunteered to chant Kol Nidre. On Yom Kippur day, we
incorporate the Yizkor (memorial service) into the larger service and in so doing encourage members to
share a piece of writing about a deceased family member or friend. As part of our 10th anniversary, we
published the first volume of Fond Remembrances, a collection of these memorial writings. For our 30th
anniversary, we published a second volume. These books bear testimony to our seriousness, longevity,
and ability to create something that is unique, yet familiar and long-lasting.
Everyone is welcome to attend. Service fees are low, and are waived or reduced for anyone unable to pay.
We meet at the Mandell JCC in West Hartford.