The foundation of the Masorti Congregation Kehilat Beit Shira in March 2009 closed a gap within the religious spectrum of Hamburg’s Jewish community. Our congregation is a member of a pan-European umbrella organization and practices Judaism as it is represented by the movement of Masorti / Conservative Judaism.
Kehilat Beit Shira is, so far, the only independent Masorti congregation in Germany. We are looking forward to the development of Masorti congregations in other German cities, and to the formation of a strong network with those congregations. (However, we explicitly distance ourselves from "Masorti e.V." in Berlin, an association whose focus is on education rather than community-building.)
Kehilat Beit Shira follows the principle of Klal Yisrael and is especially attractive to unaffiliated Jews, who don’t want to attach themselves to either the orthodox or the liberal movement. Religiously, Kehilat Beit Shira is committed to the principles and values of Conservative Judaism. We are an egalitarian congregation within the tradition of being a Beit Tfilah, a Beit Midrash and a Beit Knesset for all Jews.
Beit Tfilah: Kehilat Beit Shira provides services on Shabbat, all Jewish Holy Days and Festivals, and for Life-Cycle-Events. All Services are traditional yet egalitarian. Women in our congregation are considered equal in every respect and can exercise all functions. Kehilat Beit Shira is a participatory congregation – all members are actively involved in the organization of the congregation and the creation of congregational life.
Beit Midrash: Kehilat Beit Shira is committed to life-long Jewish learning, and supports its members in increasing their Jewish knowledge - through for example traditional learning, visiting lecturers, participation in global learning events, or even study sessions at external Jewish institutions.
Beit Knesset: Kehilat Beit Shira strives to be a house of assembly and is a welcoming home to all its members. Sitting around the Shabbat table, eating (all our services are followed by a vegetarian potluck) and discussing together is like sharing the meal with family members. This sense of family is carried beyond the services to our daily life, too. In order to create not only a spiritual network among the members but a social one as well, Kehilat Beit Shira is also offering activities outside the synagogue - like visiting a Jewish museum, meeting for a brunch or a concert, or “shmoozing” in the sukkah.