We are people who are dedicated to a meaningful Jewish life. We come from a variety of backgrounds – Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Orthodox and secular, with varying degrees of Jewish education and experience.
As the longest-standing LGBTQ-inclusive shul in the city, our rites and rituals reflect the diversity within our community: gay, lesbian, straight, and transgendered. Our congregation is made up of couples, singles and families of many different backgrounds, ages and combinations – traditional, same-sex, opposite sex, interfaith, multiracial, students, seniors and single-parent households. As far as we know, we were the first congregation in the city to have a deaf congregant give a d’var Torah (sermon) at a High Holy Day service. We live all over the GTA, mainly in central and downtown Toronto.
- A progressive, egalitarian and inclusive congregation
- Innovative, participatory services that include traditional elements as well as more contemporary components
- Engaging Shabbat and High Holy Day services with communal aliyot, sermons given by members, thought-provoking readings and humour, led by Rabbi Goldberg
- Life-cycle events, including baby namings and welcoming, bar/bat mitzvahs, aufrufs, anniversaries and memorial tributes
- Music- liturgical leadership by chazzan and music director, Daniela Gesundheit, and the participation of volunteer and professional musicians
- Free programs at High Holy Days and most Shabbats and other celebrations for children, who are always welcome to participate with us, as well as special family services throughout the year
- Other opportunities, including chanting circles, adult learning sessions, a film club and holidays and festivals
- We participate in many other cultural, social and learning ventures with other organizations, as well as co-sponsors and community partners
- We have honoured Holocaust survivors and their families, our elders, writers and artists, and have an annual LGBTQ Pride service. The third-floor chapel and Kiddish room are full of people who never expected to attend shul more than once per year but who have become regulars
We are wandering Jews! Most of our events take place in the downtown core or a bit further north. We are at home at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (MNJCC) for Shabbat services as well as several holiday-related and cultural events throughout the month. We hold our High Holy Days services in midtown Toronto (Avenue Road/St. Clair West) in the lovely sanctuary of the Unitarian Toronto congregational building, which has also been the site of holiday celebrations, bar and bat mitzvahs and a co-sponsored educational event. We have congregated in the homes of various members for Oneg Shabbat dinners, study groups and committee meetings, and other congregational buildings and community centres for events, such as our Torah dedication in 2002.
Services mainly on Shabbat mornings but also Kabbalat Shabbats (Friday nights) and for Havdallah (end of Shabbat at sundown Saturdays). We celebrate holidays such as Chanukah, Purim, Sukkot and Simcha Torah with services, kiddishes and family-friendly parties. We have participated in Pride Toronto with services, interfaith initiatives and social events. We are involved in the downtown Shavuot Tikkun all-night festival and co-partner with various organizations for special events. Over the years we have sponsored and participated in many Holocaust Education Week events throughout the city at various venues.