About Keddem Congregation
Keddem* Congregation was founded in Palo Alto
in March, 1993. We are a spirited community, spiritual and
intellectual, enjoying both prayer and study. It's critical at Keddem
that we not have to check our intellect at the door when praying, nor
have to check our spirituality at the door when studying.
Vision, Mission, and Values
Adopted by the Congregation, May 23, 2010
The Keddem Congregation vision:
Keddem Congregation is a community-led, Reconstructionist Jewish
congregation dedicated to discovering, developing and celebrating
godliness in ourselves and each other. We practice an evolving Judaism
that infuses tradition with new meaning, and is responsive to
Our approach in exploring this vision is through the path of
Reconstructionist Judaism. Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of
Reconstructionist Judaism, spoke of God as the process that makes for
the fulfillment of our human potential. "Godliness" is therefore
our highest human potential.
Kaplan also describes Judaism as an " evolving" civilization. In
that context, we seek to practice a Judaism that is dynamic rather than
static. And, as Reconstructionism rejects the notion of the Jews as
" the chosen people," we at Keddem recognize that all are created
b'Tzelem Elohim (in the image of God).
We challenge ourselves to
perceive and nurture that image in friends, in strangers, in those with
whom we disagree, in everyone regardless of race, class, gender, or
sexual orientation. This awareness is the basis of our relationships and
Under this vision, we intend to provide experiences that touch the heart
and soul as well as the mind, and varied ways for people to connect with
each other to share important experiences. We join together as we
wrestle with the meaning of God in our lives, and seek a balance between
mind and heart.
The mission of Keddem Congregation is to:
- Promote and practice Reconstructionist Judaism,
- Be a warm, welcoming, supportive community where people find
intellectual challenge, emotional involvement, and spiritual
engagement with others as they wrestle with the meaning of God
in their lives,
- Empower our members to grow Jewishly, and become active and
engaged in doing Judaism,
- Discover and build our spirituality through many
paths—song, dance, and meditation, as well as prayer and
- Foster multigenerational learning through study of both
traditional and contemporary texts and issues,
- Care for our world through committing to tzedek (justice) and
tikkun olam (repair of the world),
- Build and deepen our connections with each other by celebrating
the joys of our lives together and by supporting each other in
times of loss or trouble.
Keddem Congregation is:
- Inclusive: Everyone who supports our vision and mission is
welcome at Keddem Congregation, regardless of background, family,
lifestyle, or Jewish education. The congregation is committed to
democratic process in making major decisions. We respect each
others' beliefs, practices and perspectives and realize there is
wide diversity in the ways to belong.
- Egalitarian: At Keddem Congregation, all are equal and equally
welcome to participate in what we do, regardless of background, race,
gender, gender preference, income, Jewish education, lifestyle or birth
religion. We welcome interfaith couples to join and to participate in
Keddem's community life.
- Participatory: Involvement builds community. All Keddem
Congregation members are encouraged to participate in activities ranging
from services and tikkun olam (social action) activities, to governance
and social events.
- Inquiring: An attitude of inquiry frames learning at Keddem
Congregation. Keddem promotes Torah-based continuous learning through
studying and questioning the evolution of the Jewish community,
writings, and practice. Members benefit from each other's knowledge and
experiences, value diverse opinions and differing perspectives.
- Innovative: Just as Mordecai Kaplan recognized that Judaism is
an evolving religious civilization, so does Keddem Congregation seek to
be continuously evolving. It is through innovation that we carve a path
of Judaism, rooted in tradition and peoplehood, yet relevant for the
present. We welcome and encourage new, creative ideas.
- Compassionate: Just as we seek to recognize the godliness in
every other human being, so we at Keddem Congregation respond to each
other with the kindness, compassion, respect, patience, and humility
that this recognition deserves.
We hold events sporadically, in various locations. If you want to organize
or host a Keddem event, please contact
Any person over 13 years of age may apply for
membership in Keddem Congregation. For
additional information, please contact
(*) Keddem: the root of the Hebrew
contains within itself the concepts of the past and the
future-that which came before us, that which is ever before us.
Information about Keddem's Web site
This page last updated
Friday, September 16, 2016 4:16 PM CDT.