Valley Beth Shalom is a synagogue community committed to the quest for a Jewish life that is Godly, meaningful, and purposeful.
Human beings seek meaning. We seek the certainty that our life matters. We gain meaning by locating our personal story in a grand narrative, a narrative of our people, our nation, or in the struggle on behalf of a great cause, in pursuit of truth, beauty or justice. We experience meaning in significant relationships of intimacy, family, friendship, and community. We find meaning in acts of significant giving and caring and sharing. All these provide moments when we break out of the narrow confines of individuality to experience a bigger self. Jewish tradition teaches that the broader we define the boundaries of self, the deeper our sense of life's meaning. Opening the self to include family, friends, community, people, and the world opens the way to a deeply meaningful life.
Thus, we are commanded in the Torah: Kedoshim t'hiu ki kadosh Ani, "You will be holy, as I am holy." (Leviticus 19) God is the Self that encompasses the entire world. As we expand our sense of self to embrace more and more of the world, we become holy, we become Godly.
We transform lives through:
Torah - Jewish Learning
Avodah - Jewish Worship, Celebration, and Commemoration
Gemilut Hasadim - Ethical Action and Social Justice
Havurah - Jewish Fellowship, Community, and Belonging
These basic principles sustain our synagogue as a participatory, activist, inclusive community whose members feel connected to one another, to their Jewish past, to the Jewish future, to Israel, to Jewish communities and throughout the world.