Our Story

Background
Starting as a small chavurah in 1980, Congregation Kol Shalom evolved into its present form as an affiliated congregation of the Reform Movement (then the Union of American Hebrew Congregations – UAHC) in December 1998, and now the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). We currently have a membership of about 115 families, couples and individuals of diverse ages, backgrounds and experiences.

Vision
Congregation Kol Shalom is a community of families in North Kitsap County who are dedicated to worshiping as Reform Jews. The Congregation’s goal is to be open and inclusive, consistent with the tenets of Reform Judaism. Our goal is for each service and event we hold to project a warm environment where every person feels welcome and a part of the Congregation. Congregation Kol Shalom has three primary purposes. First, we want to provide an environment for Jews to come together to worship and enjoy each other’s company. Second, we want to educate our children so that they understand and embrace the religious and historical significance of being a Jew. Third, we want to join one another in celebrating joyous occasions and support one another in times of sadness.

Worship
Shabbat and holiday services are held regularly. Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat and Saturday morning Shabbat services are joyous celebrations in keeping with the spirit of Shabbat and Reform. All of our services are conducted in Hebrew and English, with transliterations for most of the Hebrew portions. We encourage all of our congregants including children of all ages to attend services. We want our children to remember services as a time when they come together with other Jewish children, learn to worship, and have fun in the process. Child care is provided on Saturday morning for very young children

Physical Space
The physical centers of Judaism are the synagogue and the home. A synagogue provides a public home to gather, study, and worship. It is a beacon to Jews looking to join with others or simply for a place of worship. Congregation Kol Shalom purchased a beautiful new home in 2005. These buildings, consisting of a spacious, light-filled sanctuary and a separate religious school building, are surrounded by gardens and trees, which encourage members and visitors to linger and enjoy the beauty of our natural environment.

Community Involvement
Kol Shalom feels strongly about the mission of tikkun olam, and members engage in a variety of projects to support our community and the world. Recent projects have included support for Helpline House, cooking for Super Supper dinners, and providing meals and warm clothing to people experiencing homelessness in Seattle. Our school children also learn the value of tzedakah.

Volunteer Opportunities
Our own community relies on its membership to make it run. We have a very small staff, which includes our Rabbi, Religious School Director and Temple Administrator. Therefore, most functions are performed by volunteers. The community is led by a hard-working Board of Directors who rely on the efforts of various committees. No matter what your interests, we welcome your involvement!

Membership
Congregation Kol Shalom welcomes all who are interested in Reform Judaism to join our community. Our diverse membership includes older couples whose children are grown, younger couples who are just starting their families, many families with school-age children, widows and widowers, single parents, single adults, long-time residents of the Northwest, newcomers to the area and interfaith couples.