A Progressive Jewish Congregation in Portland, Oregon
Shir Tikvah Office: 503-473-8227

Affiliation

Shir Tikvah is an independent congregation. We’ve been described in the press as “post-denominational”. Here are a few of the reasons why Shir Tikvah remains proudly unaffiliated.

1. Our members like it that way.

In 2008, we had a community-wide discussion about affiliation with the Reform and Reconstructionist movements. Both have their strengths. We strongly agree with Reform’s egalitarianism and strong social justice component. We admire Reconstructionism’s balance of modernism and respect for the power of religious ritual.

But our members come from across the spectrum. Some were raised in Orthodox homes, some in secular settings, and some would define themselves as in-between. Many are in interfaith marriages. Many have never joined a shul before. While Rabbi Stone was trained at the Reform seminary in New York, her studies in mysticism and with Orthodox and other unaffiliated communities give her a unique perspective. In the end, the congregation voted by a very large majority – over 85% – to remain unaffiliated.

2. We don’t mind a little ambiguity.

In fact, we enjoy the struggle. At Shir Tikvah, the deepest form of learning comes through continued dialogue with the Torah, our rabbi and traditional practices. Like our ancestors, we grapple with the beauty and contradictions of our sacred texts to better understand our faith, our world and our place in it. Truth lies in those spaces in between: between light and dark, faith and doubt, joy and despair. A single label just didn’t seem to encompass who we are and what we would like to be.

3. We welcome Jews of all forms.

Gay, straight, Jew-by-birth, Jew-by-choice, atheist, devout believer. We accept people with all kinds of backgrounds and acknowledge different ways of practicing and living Jewishly.

So we invite you to come spend some time with us. Drop by Torah study on a Saturday morning. Give us a call to find out which events might be a good fit for your family. Labels aside, it’s the best way to get a sense of who and what Shir Tikvah really is.

 

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