Kehilla Community Synagogue

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Definitely look into Kehilla Community Synagogue! The BBM program is wonderful. The students attend school together (may be on zoom right now) and during the final preparation work in dyads. Families break into chavurot and meet together for shabbat meals and support. My kids (now 26 and 19) are still friends with their bar mitzvah partners and we are still friends with some of the parents. The ceremonies are meaningful and incorporate whatever works for that student and family (ie very religious family or interfaith, LGBTQ, POC, learning differences etc) I'm kvelling just thinking of how amazing it is!

I highly recommend Kehilla Community Synagogue. I have gone there on and off since I was a kid. It's in Piedmont. It's a huge range of religious identities, including its fair share of self-identified atheists and agnostics. And great for kids - they have a "tot Shabbat" event every Saturday morning that's a lot of fun. Good luck with your search!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Nov 2007

Re: Seeking spiritual community
Kehilla Community Synagogue on Grand Ave. in Piedmont is wonderful. Great community, socially and politically progressive, fantastic school, ritual, singing.... Check out the website I know it's not in your nbhd, but you might want to give it a try. Longtime Kehilla member

Sept 2007

Re: Seeking diversity-friendly reform congregation
You're describing Kehilla! We've been members there for several years as an interfaith couple. You owe it to yourself to check out a few services. The temple is near the Grand Lake Theater. It's worked well for our family. Check it out at: Jeff

May 2006

Re: Synogogue friendly to interfaith families
Like your family, mine is interfaith - actually, my husband has no religious orientation or identity at all. I'm Jewish. I've found that Kehilla Community Synagogue, on Grand Avenue in Piedmont, is very welcoming of our interfaith, interracial family. The congregation is Jewish Renewal, which works well for me. I love the community at Kehilla, find it meets my needs spiritually, and offers classes, kid stuff, and more. I've been a member for about five years now. You can check out their website at You might want to start by taking your daughter to the monthly ''Tot Shabbat'', which is the first Friday of the month at 6:30pm. It's a potluck dinner with a brief service that is designed for young children. We used to go, and it was a great way to introduce my daughter to Judaism and to meet other Kehilla families with young children. Feel free to email me if you have more questions about Kehilla, and good luck! Lisa

April 2006

Re: Joining a synagogue on low-budget
I hope someone gives you a recommendation for a place near you but if you are willing to come through the tunnel look into Kehilla Community Synagogue in Oakland/ Piedmont. The website address is Kehilla's dues are sliding scale and there are lots of interfaith families (including my own) and families with a huge variety of past involvement from orthodox to atheist. Otherwise if there is a synagogue you like in Walnut Creek why not talk to them about joining and the financial issues involved? I may be wrong but it seems to me that they should have some sort of way of making it affordable for people who want to be there. I was also raised secular Jewish and am finding getting more involved with Judaism through Kehilla to feel really meaningful. enjoy your journey

April 2006

Re: Secular Jew married to atheist wants ''religious'' framework for kids

I was raised a secular Jew. I joined a synagogue because, like you, I wanted to give my daughter a sense of her Jewish heritage. One of the primary reasons I chose Kehilla Community Synagogue ( was because it is a place where you can believe in God in whatever way is comfortable for you, including, not believing in God. It is absolutely a place where other faiths are respected. There are many interfaith families who are members. Here's a comment a friend made regarding my daughters Bat Mitzvah service -- ''I found the service to be a celebration of good living rather than instilling fear of the consequences of bad living...'' A Spiritual Jew

Nov 2005

Re: Jewish Reconstructionists in East Bay?

Kehilla Community Synagogue is a great congregation. All my East Bay Jewish friends belong, and if I lived in the East Bay I would also. Lots of kids stuff, wonderful, diverse community, real commitment to tikkun olam, beautiful music. If you aren't familiar with KCS I suggest you check them out. dr.lapin

April 2005

Re: Trying to get more connected to my Jewish roots - Sinai or Kehilla?

I have been a member of Kehilla for 12 years. I, too, went through the Sinai/Kehilla debate, but found Kehilla to be a much warmer environment. My husband, also not Jewish, found it more welcoming than Sinai. The community at Kehilla is why I stay involved. The people are just awesome. It is a very comfortable place, and while it may take some time to learn the prayers/rituals, you won't feel out of place....because there are always people who are not familiar with the songs. Everything is done in a way to have people feel included, even people new to the congregation. If you have any more questions, or want to talk, feel free to give me a call. Both my children went through the b'nai mitzvah program there, and were very enriched by it. I felt really comfortable knowing that they were learning about ethics and spirituality, and not about there only being one true path. I was not at all religious when I joined, but I found I really like the rituals...and now I even go to services on shabbat from time to time. Barbara

March 2005

Re: Seeking a diverse, open minded reform synagogue

I highly recommend Kehilla -- a very diverse, tolerant, progressive, spiritually driven community. They practice many of the ancient jewish traditions and prayers/chants, while twisting them slightly to make them more progressive and relevant to today's world. A very moving and uplifting community. anon

I would like to strongly recommend Kehilla Community Synagogue to you. Their web site is here:

I do not belong but have gone to High Holiday and other services with them, and have found the community to be incredibly diverse as there are many gay/lesbian couples as well as racially-mixed couples (and their children). In their High Holiday prayer book they even have passages designated for those who consider themselves atheist, which I have not found in any other snyagogue. Now that I am a parent I will probably join Kehilla if only to send my son to classes there. Definitely go and check them out. Lori

Feb 1999

Re: Looking for a child-oriented Jewish congregation

Asking for recommendations about synagogues or churches is like asking for recommendations about art. ("Why on earth did you recommend that I see that Pollock exhibition? My four-year-old does the same thing!")

Having said that, I'm a big fan of our spiritual community, Kehilla Community Synagogue in North Berkeley. Aligned with the Association for Jewish Renewal, most would consider us progressive. Judy in particular might be interested to know that there are a few School of Ed folks in the community. Pre-recorded events line - 5284636; office line - 5275452; email - kehilla at Wishing you mazel in your search, Eric