Our Ever-Widening Circle
Our goal in KI Next is to develop and sustain fresh and inspirational Jewish programs that will build Jewish identity, promote Jewish learning and literacy, and increase overall engagement with Israel and the wider Jewish community.
Jews By Choice
KI’s unique blend of authentic tradition and inclusion has resulted in the full integration into leadership at the highest levels of dozens of Jews By Choice in recent decades. Our rabbis supervise the instruction of more than 20 converts to Judaism each year, whose impact on the broader community’s ethos of growth and learning is remarkable.
Rabbinic Training Lab
For nearly fifteen years KI has been a unique training ground for rabbinical students and emerging rabbinical voices, with students from the Hebrew College Rabbinical School interning as teachers, pastors, and organizers. Beyond KI’s proud history as a community that has produced more rabbis and professional Jewish educators than any other congregation nationwide, KI of the future is positioned to have a tremendous imprint on Jewish communities the world over by having had a role in shaping the professionals who will lead and inspire them.
As a traditional synagogue that embraces a multi-vocal approach to religious truths, KI brings a uniquely Jewish lens to visiting Israeli leaders who will become the change-agents who will write Israel’s next chapter. While a university setting specializes in providing skills for governance and management, only a shul can expose next generation leaders to settings where Jewish ways and means, texts and practices are vivid and lived in non-orthodox yet religiously authentic ways heretofore inconceivable to Israelis. In addition to impacting visiting Israeli leaders, KI will continue to shape the Jewish values and vision of emerging leaders in North American Jewry. Together, we will help fortify an authentically Jewish foundation for Jewish leaders of the world’s two largest and most influential Jewish communities.
Engaging Boston’s Israelis
KI has already begun to establish itself as a center for cultural and religious experiences that will help deepen Jewish identity among local Israelis—a lead goal of the new Israeli American Council Boston. By intensifying our work in particular with the Meetchabrim program, dedicated to advancing “peoplehood” between the Israeli and American Jewish communities, and the Gvanim program, focusing on emerging leadership among Israeli-American professionals, we will continue to develop opportunities to connect local Israelis with their Jewish roots and provide them a strong and vital community.
Arts and Deeds
Encounters with great works of art, music, writing, dance, film and other forms of Jewish artistic expression will expand within the refurbished spaces of KI of tomorrow. Within the context of Jewish communal life, our aim will be to encourage art forms to be educationally meaningful by both deepening inner-life and as a means of activating social change. We will seek to regularly host groups from teen organizations from urban Boston to facilitate connections capable of inspiring deeds of justice and hopefulness.
Innovative and empowering ritual practices are the core of the KI experience. By encouraging lay people to strengthen their davening skills and lead services, we deepen their Jewish knowledge and strengthen our community as a whole. Currently more than 150 congregants read Torah and lead services annually. We seek to grow the Davening Corps—focusing on best practices, skill advancement, and deep learning—to enable every member of our community to learn and be able to lead the rituals of Jewish tradition.
Accessibility and Inclusion
For KI, “radical inclusivity” has meant educational offerings to those with intellectual disabilities in the 1950s, Minyan MeYouChad—regular Shabbat services of the developmentally disabled—in the 1990s, and now becoming the central address for Yachad and its full array of programs. We are committed to not only refurbishing our buildings to be much more accessible to the mobility impaired, but to anticipate in advance ways our community can be welcoming and affirming to all. As Harry Kraft z”l stated so clearly in his President’s New Year message back in 1957, “KI is dedicated to Judaism, and open to all.”