Building Bridges

As a community, we seek to locate ourselves in the finely tuned tension between the universal and the particular, fostering a strong sense of Jewish identity and a strong sense of social responsibility. Nehar Shalom draws on the warmth of the traditional shtibl, but strives to be more, more inclusive and more responsive to the world. Committed to social justice, Nehar Shalom is a place from which Jews can respond as Jews to the needs of the wider community and of the world in which we live. Building bridges with people of other faiths and communities, Nehar Shalom values learning about and from each other, while pursuing together tikun olam, repair of the world.

As a member of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), Nehar Shalom works with other religious communities on a wide range of social initiatives, such as health care reform, affordable housing, and improving city schools. Through the Jamaica Plain Interfaith Clergy Group, we work with our neighbors toward greater understanding and to address issues of concern in our neighborhood. As a community and as individuals, we work closely with Keshet on joint programming and advocacy for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer Jews. Particularly through Rabbi Victor’s work, we are committed to building greater understanding and cooperation with our Muslim neighbors. We have hosted numerous programs with Israelis and Palestinians working for peace, justice, and reconciliation.

Building bridges with the earth and the environment, we host a synagogue based CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with a local urban farm and use compostable or recyclable materials for all food-based programming. We encourage individuals to donate food to the Food Pantry run by the First Church in Jamaica Plain (Unitarian Universalist), and as a community we gather chametz just before Pesach to deliver to the Food Pantry. The giving away of chametz (foods prohibited during Pesach) to non-Jews gives concrete expression to the universal themes of Pesach.

Whether in the Middle East or in the neighborhoods of Boston, we look forward to working with you to build bridges between people and communities, and with the earth we all share, fine tuning together a harmonious tension between the universal and the particular.