Congregation Sha’are Shalom “Gates of Peace” was founded in 1990 as an independent organization affiliated with the JCC (Jewish Community Center) movement. Because of the growing and diverse Jewish population in Southern Maryland, there was a need for a liberal congregation that would provide a means through which Jews from all backgrounds would be able to share their social, cultural, and religious identities.
What began with one person’s idea to go through the local phone book and call those with Jewish sounding names for the purpose of a backyard picnic and social, has evolved into a full service liberal (Reform) congregation. We provide a full range of religious and social events for the local community in general and our members in particular which include:
- Sabbath Services
- Religious School
- Adult Education
- Holiday Observances
- Social Events
As the only Reform synagogue congregation in Southern Maryland, we hope to provide the opportunity for the entire Jewish community and all people who share our interests in perpetuating the Jewish heritage and sense of belonging to become a part of Congregation Sha’are Shalom.
Sha’are Shalom Congregational Goals:
- Attract new members and retain current members
- Improve our planning and execution of activities so that we incorporate all aspects of our mission (“…provide Jewish religious, social, cultural, and educational opportunities … provide the opportunity for all Jewish families to perpetuate their heritage and share a sense of belonging) and appeal to our total population (members, parents, children, teens, singles, etc.)
- Increase Sha’are Shalom’s social actions to the Jewish and non-Jewish Southern Maryland community