Congregation Kol Emet
Kol Emet is a Reconstructionist Jewish Congregation that strives to encourage spiritual fulfillment, happiness and meaning for its members and their families through interactive worship, life-long education and service to our community and the larger world. Our synagogue is located in Yardley, Bucks County, PA.
As a Reconstructionist community we recognize the spiritual needs of all of our members. Through intimate, participatory services we try to find ways to sense and manifest the divine presence in our lives. Our prayer book makes prayers accessible through transliteration and a balance of Hebrew and English. The service can be enhanced by the accompaniment of instrumental music.
We strive to meet the educational needs of all of our congregants through a wide range of programs such as continuing education and Torah study for adults, and religious school for children from kindergarten through high school. By utilizing a curriculum based on prayer book fluency, Jewish values and beliefs, rituals and practices, our goal is to promote quality Jewish memories that will inspire our young people to continue their Jewish education.
We believe as Reconstructionists that as we serve our fellow human beings we serve as partners with God in the spirit of mitzvah. At Kol Emet our congregants have historically been involved in social and political action. We expect all of our members to express their individual commitment to social and political involvement regardless of their religious affiliation. Through Tikun Olam, we accept responsibility for the well being of the greater world of which we are part by performing such acts as assisting the elderly and the less fortunate.
Women and Judaism
In Reconstructionist circles, women have been taking an active role in leadership and ritual since the early 1950s, a generation before this became common elsewhere. Continuing in this tradition, women at Kol Emet have the equal opportunity to lead the congregation, participate in all prayer rituals including aliyahs, Torah readings, and minyanim. The Reconstructionist prayer book utilizes language that recognizes the contributions women have made to the spiritual growth of the Jewish people.
The non-Jewish partner is recognized as a full member of the congregation, welcomed to participate completely in all social, religious and leadership aspects of Kol Emet. A non-Jewish member can hold any board position, except president and vice president of the synagogue. At Kol Emet, as throughout all Reconstructionism, a child is recognized as Jewish if either the mother or father is Jewish.
Today we must live and work with the awareness that we ourselves can and do make changes. From the Reconstructionist perspective, what is constant; in Judaism are the Jewish people and their devotion to the highest ideals of the religious civilization. The Jewish people who share in this devotion should determine in any given era what Judaism would be like. Because of our reverence for our past we must carefully think through how we will reconstruct Judaism in every generation.