Community Voices

Felicia, David and AvivNehar Shalom offers to us a place where we can be ourselves through life’s events. We say “life’s events” because that includes both the good events and the hard ones. Walking into the shul is literally, a coming home, and we have found the complete welcome at Nehar to be the basis for our prayer and the way we understand our Jewish life. ~ David, Felicia, and Aviv



Happy 10th year Nehar Shalom! It is here that I found my authentic Jewish voice, fully accepted and warmly invited to contribute just as I am. It is a space to seek the holy with kindness, humor and intentions of peace.  ~ Melinda



annie and marissaNehar Shalom enveloped us in a warm, loving community from our first visit, when Rabbi Victor introduced us at kiddush. The bright, cozy sanctuary provides a holy space in which to sing, cry, and explore the Torah of our lives. We are so nurtured by this devoted, intellectual, and soulful shul. ~ Annie and Marissa


At Nehar Shalom I can learn beautiful, text-based traditional and Chassidic insights while simultaneously being valued as my lesbian feminist self. I can also be part of a close, supportive, prayer-oriented community whose Rabbi is committed to social justice, interfaith communication, and personal involvement with members. What’s not to love?  ~ Barb


The Nehar Shalom Community has played a huge role in making JP feel like home for ourselves and our two sons, 1 and 3 years old. Our boys have each been welcomed and embraced by Rabbi Victor, Mieke, and the whole community at shul services and events since they were just days old. We love seeing our older son’s face light up when we say “it’s almost shabbat – time to get ready to go to Nehar Shalom”. ~ Emily and Evan



I have always felt welcome at Nehar Shalom. I love being part of a shul rooted in tradition where I know that welcoming transgender people is the official policy. I especially appreciate that Rabbi Victor does not just welcome individual transgender people into the Nehar Shalom community but is willing to stand up and advocate for us at the State House, and to open his home to hosting letter writing parties and so on.  ~ Ren



I have davenned in many prayer spaces. What makes Nehar Shalom’s atmosphere so unique and perfect for the experience of prayer is the intimacy created in the warmth of the sthibl’s space. There is a comfort among those who come to daven, an intimacy that flows naturally from person to person. This intimacy becomes an inspiration for me, as I pray among my friends at Nehar Shalom, and it opens me to the possibility of talking intimately with G-d. ~ David



One of the many things I love about Nehar Shalom is our growing sense of caring and connection with each other as a community.  The Mispahcha Hebrew school has been a real Jewish home base community for me, my daughter and my partner.  Nehar Shalom has a deepening awareness of the significance of welcoming every Jew and every Jewish family and fully embracing every Jew in her or his own special personhood with regard to the different oppression and struggles each one faces as members of other groups (e.g. Jews who are people of color, gay Jews, Jews of different class backgrounds and as Jewish women and men…) It matters to me that we are willing to talk about and struggle with contemporary core issues for us as the Jewish People and there is the expression of a growing commitment to support the existence of Palestine alongside our beloved Israel. ~ Jen



The dynamic, caring and creative community of Nehar Shalom grew on me and me with it.    I feel comfortable to follow others and to take the lead. Finding Nehar Shalom changed my life. It is my home away from home.  Seven years ago after waiting 33 years, the shul came to JP! ~ Sherry





I like early-morning Torah study at JP Licks. It’s a chance to be with Nehar Shalom folks in a Torah setting outside of services. ~ Howard




Nehar Shalom reminds me of the famous line from the TV show Cheers- “it’s a place where everybody knows your name.” It’s a warm and welcoming community that has a lot of diversity in every way you can think of. What Reb Victor and Mieke  started in 2005 is such a blessing. It’s created so many new and supportive connections among the membership both in Jamaica Plain and beyond. I’m a regular Shabbat morning participant and it really is just the right place for me. Torah study at JP Licks has opened me to so much new learning as have the many community celebrations.  ~ Allen






Community Videos

Building the Nehar Shalom Sukkah 2008