Lifelong learning, spiritual growth, connection and social action are at the heart of our community.
Our egalitarian worship and learning are focused on helping all members to grow their Judaism and connect personally to the tradition and with each other. We come together for the sake of tikkun olam—working to mend the world through acts of compassion and justice—and simply for the fun of being together.
Kol Shalom is an actively engaged community of varied interests and contributions of talent and time.
As with any small, nonprofit organization, volunteers are the backbone of our community and critical to sustaining synagogue activities and commitments. Committee work ranges from religious practices, to routine upkeep of the synagogue building and grounds, to Mitzvah Corps.
Not only is volunteer or committee work the engine that keeps Kol Shalom running, it is also an avenue for greater connections between members and meaningful contribution to the community. We are fortunate to have many talented members who are willing to put their skills to use in service of our congregation.
Kol Shalom Committees
Arts and Furnishings
Works to review and implement design changes that have a visual effect on the interior or exterior of our facilities, such as color changes and furnishings.
Implements and oversees policies concerning Kol Shalom’s Jewish section of Port Blakely cemetery, and acts as a conduit between bereaved families, the Rabbi, the cemetery and the funeral home.
Chevra Kadisha (burial society)
A group of members that provides a supportive Jewish framework for families who have lost a loved one, including comforting grieving family and performing Jewish ritual cleansing.
Volunteers expertise and labor for building and facility matters, including building and infrastructure repairs, and does evaluation and implementation of facility improvements.
Prepares annual budget for approval by the Board, explores and resolves financial issues, advising the President, Treasurer, Administrator, and Accountant on management of financial matters of the congregation.
Helps plan and coordinate one-of-a-kind or recurring events including our Gala Dinner and Auction with the specific goal of raising significant revenues in support of our annual budget to supplement our annual pledges.
Supports Kol Shalom’s ongoing efforts to attract, welcome and integrate new members, communicate with existing members and help nurture life-long affiliation and a strong sense of Jewish identity.
Supports congregants and members of the community in need or when sick, provides companionship, and comforts those who lose loved ones, through phone calls, cards, visits and transportation as appropriate.
Plans and coordinates various congregational activities, including social events, adult education classes, guest speakers, field trips and activities that hold particular interest for Kol Shalom families.
With the Rabbi, evaluates and recommends policies related to religious matters, helps plan and coordinate Jewish religious service and holiday observances.
Works closely with our Religious School Director to develop and implement necessary educational policies and encourages congregational support and volunteers for our Religious School.
Seeks to provide opportunities to participate in social action as a manifestation of Jewish life, modeling social activism for our youth, and encouraging all members to engage in social action both as individuals and as a Jewish community.
Website & Communications
Works closely with our Temple Administrator to develop and manage content and format for our website, and manages communications and marketing activities through interactions with the Board, committees and staff.
"Tzedek, tzedek tirdof—justice, justice shall you pursue."
Kol Shalom members engage in tikkun olam, a core tenet of our community, for ongoing repair of the world through social action. To that end, members partner with other organizations to meet community needs, including food drives and special help projects. Our Mitzvah Corps provides as-needed support to members, such as rides and meals.
We strive to be a safe, welcoming community that offers refuge, justice, solace and empathy to all in need, and actively participate in tikkun olam.
As a congregation, we support the following activities:
Participation in the Interfaith Council of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap
Sponsorship and participation at Super Supper, a free meal program, on the last Tuesday evening of each month at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church
Collection of food and supplies to donate to Helpline House
Presentation of periodic movie nights and events that spark discussion and education
Other activities based on congregational interest
Additionally, to help maintain our focus on the need to mend the world, a reading on a topic of social justice is presented during each Shabbat morning service.
The Mitzvah Corps supports congregants and members of the community in times of need by providing, for example:
Meals during a period of illness or recovery (or during the joyous but exhausting time of new parenthood!)
Rides to and from appointments
Comfort to those who have lost loved ones
Enrichment and socializing are an integral part of Kol Shalom community life. We host numerous activities in which to enjoy stimulating and lively discussion and each other's company, such as:
These groups welcome new participants, members and non-members, Jewish and not Jewish. Additionally, Rabbi Darío conducts regular Adult Education classes on various topics.
The Book Group, which meets monthly, is a popular, long-standing program at Kol Shalom. It provides a wonderful incentive to read both Jewish literature and award-winning books. Serious, insightful perspectives define discussion that includes themes, character development, literary value, and writing styles. Differences of opinion are encouraged; polar opposite views generate respectful debate. It’s not unusual for a person to change perspective on a book as a result of discussion.
Programs at Kol Shalom reflect the interests and talents of our congregation. Members have been known to organize other activities, such as a challah-baking class or a speakers series, to share something they are passionate about with other members of the community.
Through age 13, our kids are engaged in religious school and Hebrew studies. Post-b'nai mitzvah, they continue to have an active role participating in Shabbat services and holiday celebrations.
Opportunities for further programming can be found in local chapters of the following organizations:
Evergreen region of BBYO (B'nai Brith Youth Organization). BBYO is intended to build the identity of Jewish teens and offer leadership development programs
Northwest chapter of NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement to build strong communities through teen-powered engagement.
Jewish Summer Camps
Camp provides a meaningful (and fun!) Jewish experience for our youth, and as a community we are committed to having it be accessible to everyone. Please consider making a donation to the Sammy Turkheimer Youth Development Fund at Congregation Kol Shalom to support families who may need assistance in paying for camp, so that our kids can continue to attend the excellent Jewish camps in our area.
And make sure you check out the Foundation for Jewish Camp.
An enrichment opportunity for young adults is a visit to Israel through the nonprofit Birthright Israel. The organization offer the gift of a 10-day educational group trip to Israel for young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 32. Birthright Israel seeks to ensure the future of the Jewish people by strengthening Jewish identity, Jewish communities, and connection with Israel. According to participant feedback, 80 percent of Birthright Israel alumni called their trip a “life-changing experience.”