Columbia Jewish Congregation (CJC) is a progressive congregation, affiliated with the Reconstructionist movement. We are a multi-generational, diverse congregation of members whose emphasis on Judaism as a civilization as well as a religion involves us in the study of Jewish beliefs, teachings, values, ethics, history, tradition, prayer, art, and music. Our song-filled services engender a spirit of camaraderie that carries over into our many communal celebrations and social activities. CJC has a long history of commitment to Tikkun Olam and Tzedakah, values that we cherish and strive to pass on to our children.
In fall of 2006, an innovative teem program began at our congregation. Gateways to Judaism, a new and exciting program developed through a grant from the Blaustein Foundation, will create opportunities for teenagers to learn, access, and celebrate Judaism in a non-threatening, exciting, and hospitable environment. The program, will enable self-selected teenagers to gain a basic foundation of Jewish life cycle events, Hebrew and prayer, Jewish customs, and elementary Jewish history and theology. A safe environment will be provided to explore understanding of how Judaism and Christianity differ and related identity issues. Through didactic and experiential learning, teens can become more comfortable within the Jewish community and synagogue. This will be achieved by both increased Jewish knowledge and by becoming part of a group of Jewish teens from similar backgrounds.
Gateways to Judaism is open to teens who are from an interfaith marriage, want to become a bar or bat mitzvah but have little or no knowledge of Judaism, and would like to be Jewish. For further information, please contact Rabbi Sonya Starr at 410.730.6044.