Mission & History

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Congregation Beth Shalom is a participatory, egalitarian congregation affiliated with the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism. We provide a warm gathering place and a caring community for our members. At Congregation Beth Shalom we come together to nourish our spirituality through worship, to increase our understanding through study, to educate our young, and to better our world through acts of loving kindness.

Our goal is to be an inclusive congregation that encourages all members to participate fully in congregation activities, to explore individual and communal growth, and to increase our members’ familiarity with and knowledge of Jewish practice. We are concerned with and responsive to the needs and welfare of our members, the Jewish community at large, and those in need in the general community.

The story of Congregation Beth Shalom began in 1968 when a small group of families met to create a congregation dedicated to the ideals of Conservative Judaism within the city of Seattle.  Their aim was to build an institution which would serve the spiritual, educational, social and cultural needs of Jews interested in retaining their traditional heritage.

For the first two years, Beth Shalom met in a church school building and provided Jewish education for all grades from nursery school through high school. The temporary location became inadequate before two years had passed, and, in 1970, a building on our current site was rented from the Unitarian Church. In 1980, Rabbi Ira Stone arrived at Beth Shalom, followed by Rabbi Dov Gartenberg in 1988. After a tremendous capital campaign, our shul underwent a major renovation. We rededicated our new building in January, 1998.

In 2005, Rabbi Jill Borodin began as the synagogue’s spiritual leader.  In 2007, Beth Shalom welcomed the opening of a full-time Early Childhood Center. In 2014, following the successful Atid Campaign, Beth Shalom hired its first Assistant Rabbi, Rabbi Adam Rubin.  Our second Assistant Rabbi, Rabbi Paula Rose, began working at Beth Shalom in Summer 2017. Beth Shalom prides itself on being a community of learners offering a variety of formal and informal educational experiences for children, families and adults.

Affiliated with United Synagogue of America, the congregation now has approximately 450 member households.

In 2015, our board of directors approved a strategic plan to address the question “What will a thriving CBS community look like in five years?”  Our strategic plan can be found here.

Derech Eretz

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