About Us

Welcome to Shira Hadasha
We are a community of observant men and women in Jerusalem who came together to create a unique synagogue experience that values the rich textures of communal singing and encourages participation in all parts of our community. We are deeply committed to four core values: Halacha, Feminism, meaningful Tefilah experiences, and kehillah.

HALACHA: Though we seek to expand the boundaries of women’s participation in our services, we do so within the bounds of halacha. We have a va’ad halacha made up of several learned members who advise the kehilah and the leadership on all halachic questions. As a kehilah, we are committed to the observance of mitzvot such as Shabbat, kashrut, tzedaka, hachnasat orchim etc. In celebration of our 12th year as a kehilah we published a book (in Hebrew) of halachic articles around our practices.

FEMINISM: Feminism is not only about the inclusion of women, or aspirations of egalitarianism, it is about inclusion in general. Through our feminism we seek to make the invisible visible, the silent heard. To that end we actively create space for all kinds of groups that have often been marginalized in traditional Judaism including but not limited to women, single-parent or non-conventional families, LGBTQ, the elderly, the mentally ill. This is done in a variety of different ways. The most obvious examples relate to the participation of women as Torah readers and prayer leaders. According to our current practice many, though not all tefilot may be led by women. Our mechitza runs down the center of the room with the bima in the center allowing men and women equal access and visibility. We also believe in a decentralized consensus form of leadership. We have no rabbi but instead are led by a team of eight gabayim (executive committee), who work with the vaad halacha and a large group of more than 30 other lay leaders and volunteers. With the exception of a part-time administrator and security and maintenance staff, Shira Hadasha is run by volunteers.