About Congregation Shir Shalom

ShirS

About us
  • A vibrant, caring community, full of life and blessings;
  • A family of families, there to celebrate good times and help in times of need;
  • A community that cares about Jewish values like tzedukah (charity), gemulut chasidim (acts of loving kindness), and tikkun olam (repair of the world).
  • A place to sing, dance and be proud of being Jewish.
  • Summer services under our outdoor tent, with guitar music and relaxed atmosphere;
  • High Holiday services with both a professional and lay choir, full of joy and love;
  • A friendly, welcoming religious school that strives to teach Judaism in an open and accepting environment;
  • Lively Jewish classes for a variety of age groups in a variety of settings;
  • Clergy who care about the needs of the congregants and making a difference in the wider community;
  • A board committed to making Shir Shalom the best synagogue it can be.
How we got here
We are the product of two forward thinking, progressive congregations, one Reform and Reconstructionist, that came together in July of 2012 to form something very unique in the Jewish world.  Temple Beth Am and Temple Sinai had a shared legacy of being the first Buffalo synagogues to make homes in the suburbs.  Both having roots in the mid-1950s in post war America, they represented a shift in American Jewish life to more suburban living.  Individually the congregations grew with the area, as Amherst and Williamsville expanded so did the two separate congregations.  Each congregation saw tragedy with their founding rabbis, Nathan Gaynor and Daniel Kerman both dying suddenly.  They also shared a cantor, Susan Wehle, who served in both congregations for almost two decades.  Cantor Wehle was tragically killed in the crash of flight 3407 in 2009.  In the spring of 2010, the leadership of each congregation began  meeting to discuss a possible merger.  After much discussion it was easy to see how much they had in common.  Despite differences in denomination, they shared many values and communal practices.  It has been a remarkable partnership that has led our community to be truly, as our name suggests, a “song of peace.”   
 
We would love to have you join us in the project of improving and enhancing the life of our Jewish community and the larger Western New York metropolitan area.

 

Religious Sevices

We offer a wide variety of spiritual opportunities to our members and to all interested in exploring Jewish life including:

  • Erev Shabbat Service
  • Shabbat morning worship
  • Torah study
  • High Holy Day and Festival services
  • Family Shabbat services
  • Tot Shabbat for the very young and their siblings
  • Creative family holiday experiences

Education

The Marshall & Marlene Glickman Center for Jewish Learning is one of Western New York´s largest Jewish Religious Schools. It offers unique opportunities for parental participation and experiential education including:

Auxiliaries

The Temple has an active:

Community Outreach

Temple members reach out to the community through many social action projects including:

  • Food drives during the High Holy Days and at Thanksgiving (the Thanksgiving Basket Project feeds over 500 families a year).
  • Annual Walk Off Hunger walkathon for the Food Bank of WNY
  • Joint activities with neighboring faith communities
  • Support for people who were ill, recently discharged from the hospital, or sitting Shiva

Other Resources

  • Two libraries – an adult library and the Morris and Spivack Memorial Youth Library
  • A fully stocked Judaica shop
  • An oudoor tent area for religious and social activities in summer months
  • A social hall for events with up to 300 people
  • A fully equipped commercial kitchen
  • A youth activities room
  • A Braille center

Many of the Temple´s programs are open to the entire community.

Last updated: December 17, 2016 at 12:19 pm