Birkat Shalom, a member of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, is a regional community serving central Israel. We are committed to deepening liberal Jewish values for our members by offering Jewish holiday and Shabbat celebrations, study and social action opportunities, and by sustaining a caring community.
Birkat Shalom promotes religious freedom, tolerance and pluralism. We provide an inclusive and inviting Jewish community for Israeli Jews who are looking for a meaningful, egalitarian setting to celebrate Jewish life, ritual and tradition.About Us
Birkat Shalom is located at Kibbutz Gezer, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv near the Biblical site of Tel Gezer.
We are growing and reaching thousands of people in our region, building new partnerships. Nearly 4,000 people joined us in 2018 for lifecycle events, holiday celebrations and other activities.
Our spiritual leader is Rabbi Steve Burnstein, who has played an active role in the community since making Aliyah in 1997. Rabbi Burnstein succeeded Rabbi Miri Gold,
who served the community for 20 years.House of Worship
Music is central to our worship and holiday celebrations. We engage our members - and families of all ages - through innovative programming. Our annual events include a Birthday Party for the World on Rosh HaShanah, kite flying for Tashlich, a Tu B’Shvat seder, family friendly Purim Megillah reading, and tractor dance with Kibbutz Gezer on Shavuot.
One of the highlights each year is our Simchat Torah extravaganza with hundreds of participants in our outdoor sanctuary. We host guests including students from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute for Religion, the URJ Heller High, monks and nuns from the Bnai Osher Beatitudes Community at Emmaus, and young adults with special needs from Beit Eden in Ramle. Everyone is invited to dance with the Torah scroll.Child & Family Programming
Birkat Shalom works closely with the Education Center of Kibbutz Gezer. We offer monthly programming with the Rabbi in the synagogue for students in the early childhood program. For elementary age students and their families, we hold a monthly “young chefs” activity exploring seasonal foods.
Social Justice and Interfaith Dialogue
We are proud of our ongoing engagement in a variety of meaningful Social Justice projects. For many years we have partnered with groups and organizations working with new immigrants to Israel from South America, the Former Soviet Union, and elsewhere. We offer a monthly Kabbalat Shabbat program for adults with special needs at Beit Eden in Ramle. We are working closely with the Social Justice committee of Kibbutz Gezer to provide support for 2 single mother asylum seekers and providing support for children in distress. Through this valuable work, we become an extended family.
We also have an amazing partnership with the monks and nuns from the Bnai Osher Beatitudes Community at Emmaus. We join together throughout the year to build bridges of understanding and appreciation, celebrating our holidays together.