Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Elul 22, 5774

Congregation Rodeph Shalom

615 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Rodeph Shalom is a Reform congregation in Center City Philadelphia. As an inclusive community, we offer services, programs & activities for a diverse population, including interfaith couples & individuals of varied backgrounds & sexual orientations. 

Our vision is to awaken our human spirit to the possibilities within and between us. We create a Jewish community of profound connections through transformative study, prayer, and urban engagement. Standing on the shoulders of our historic congregation's founders, we dedicate ourselves to ensuring the future of the Jewish people. To pursue our vision we:

  • Welcome all who come to explore or deepen their connection to Judaism and God
  • Find strength in our diversity of perspective, age, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, family constellation, and socio-economic background
  • Welcome interfaith families with open arms
  • Rejoice with each other in times of joy and comfort each other in times of sadness
  • Lift our voices in prayer, embracing the faithful and the skeptic
  • Wrestle with the many faces of the Divine on our journeys of growth and spirituality
  • Engage in the lifelong study of Torah, adding our voices to the generations of interpretation
  • Repair the brokenness in our neighborhood and the world
  • Celebrate our connection to Israel and Jews globally, providing a forum for learning and discussion
  • Draw inspiration from the beauty of the musical, visual, and performing arts
  • Cultivate a commitment to Jewish life and Jewish identity in the next generation
  • Reflect, renew, and innovate in the spirit of Reform Judaism

Congregation Rodeph Shalom dates its founding to 1795 with the coalescing of the first Ashkenazic congregation in the western hemisphere. Because the congregation chose to follow the German/Dutch order of prayer, in 1812 it was chartered by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania as the “Hebrew German Society (Rodeph Shalom).” From its founding, Rodeph Shalom was determined not to exclude members based on financial circumstances. Additionally, in 1829, a rule about intermarriage was established: “Members who married non-Jews would not be expelled as long as they raised their children as Jews.”

For more than 50 years, services were conducted in numerous locations throughout “Olde City Philadelphia.” Not until 1847, when a former church was purchased and refurbished, did Rodeph Shalom have its own building: the Juliana Street Synagogue. Rodeph Shalom was able to construct its first dedicated sanctuary in 1871 on its current site at Broad and Mount Vernon Streets. This striking edifice was designed by Frank Furness, considered the most exciting Philadelphia architect of his time. It was a showpiece of Moorish-style architecture.
 
In 1873, Rodeph Shalom became a charter member of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (which is now called the Union for Reform Judaism.) The Union was founded by Dr. Isaac Mayer Wise, the father of Reform Judaism in the United States. Many of Dr. Wise’s innovations, which were designed to improve worship among American Jews, were adopted by Rodeph Shalom.
 
William I. Kuhn became senior rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Shalom in 1998. He  brings broad and distinctive life experience to the congregation's historic pulpit. Our clergy team includes Rabbi Jill Maderer, Rabbi Eli Freedman and Cantor Erin Frankel.

More Events From Congregation Rodeph Shalom

Sat. Sep 20
Rabbi Rex
8:00 PM-10:00 PM
“Going Long, Going Deep: Delving into Our Souls as We Delve into a New High Holy Day Prayerbook”
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