Philosophy:Kahal B'raira

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Kahal B’raira
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusSynagogue
Location765 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, Boston, Massachusetts
CountryUnited States
Kahal B'raira is located in Greater Boston area
Kahal B'raira
Location in greater Boston
AdministrationSociety for Humanistic Judaism
Geographic coordinates [ ⚑ ] : 42°23′29″N 71°09′15″W / 42.3914°N 71.1542°W / 42.3914; -71.1542
Date established1975
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Kahal B’raira is a Humanistic Jewish synagogue located at 765 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States.[1]

Affiliated with the Society for Humanistic Judaism,[2] Kahal B’raira (pronounced ka-HAL breyra) has offered a nontheistic alternative in contemporary Jewish life since 1975. The congregation aims to welcome all who identify with the history, culture and fate of the Jewish people, including multi-faith families and LGBTQ families.[3]


Sunday School

Kahal B'raira offers secular Jewish education for young people ages 3–14.[4][self-published source?] It also offers bar/bat mitzvah and teen programming including a youth group and employment opportunities in the Sunday School. Students involved in the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program[5][self-published source?] and the Youth group[6][self-published source?] also undertake additional social action projects. The Sunday School collects tzedakah in class throughout the year and then decides collectively what causes to support.

Sunday meetings

The congregation primarily draws members[7][self-published source?] from Eastern and Central Massachusetts. Adults meet concurrently with the Sunday School 15 times a year.[8][self-published source?] The morning with the children and adults together. After the children leave for class, adult members participate in member-led secular services, and a featured presentation by a guest lecturer on a topic typically relating to Jewish culture, humanism, history, philosophy, arts, society, politics, or other issues. Some past topics include “When General Grant Expelled the Jews”, “Current events in the Middle East”, “Jewish Cooking”, and an annual book group (past books have included “The Zookeeper's Wife” by Diane Ackerman, “Patrimony” by Philip Roth and “What Remains” by Nicholas Delbanco.

Adult education

In addition to Sunday morning programming, adult members may participate in additional Adult Education classes. These may be member led, or may be in a weekend seminar[9] taught by a Scholar-in-Residence.[10] Weekend seminars have been held in 2009 and 2010. Another seminar is planned for the weekend from December 13–15, 2013.


The major Jewish holidays[11][self-published source?] are celebrated include high holiday services, building of and eating in the sukkah, a Tu Bishvat program, a congregational Passover Seder, a Hanukkah meal and party and periodic Shabbat services and get-togethers.

Social action and community involvement

The congregation aims to encourage activities related to social service and social justice, adult education, and social events.[12][self-published source?] The community is lay-led.

The congregation also has a social action committee[12] which coordinates events over the course of the year. Ongoing events have included a blood drive, volunteering at Gaining Ground Farm, serving meals on Christmas at First Church Shelter, contributing to Jewish Family and Children's Services' Family Table food pantry, participating in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of service in partnership with the City Mission Society,[13] adopting needy children/families at holiday time and bringing journaling workshops to women incarcerated at Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Framingham, and also through the congregation's "Sheltering Arts Program."

The congregation's Chesed (Caring) committee[14][self-published source?] offers support to members facing medical illness or other crises helping members in need.

Social events

The Kahal B’raira community also offers informal social events throughout the year including organized potluck dinners, an annual winter get-away weekend, group outings to Red Sox games, a summer barbecue and a day at the beach.

See also

  • Jewish culture
  • International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism


External links