Synagogues  /  Kehilat Shalom

Kehilat Shalom was a lay led traditional-Conservative congregation, located in the suburbs and active from 1977 to 2002.


Kehilat Shalom (Hebrew: Community of Peace) was formed in 1977 as a family-oriented, traditional-conservative havurah. The congregation rented space at various sites around the suburbs, initially at Temple Beth Zion, but also at Temple Beth Am, Temple Beth El and the Jewish Community Center. Created as a havurah style congregation, it was led by its own volunteer members, rather than a professional rabbi or cantor, however, over time, Dr. Mitchell Parker, emerged as the groups religious coordinator. For some High Holidays, clergy were hired to conduct services, but otherwise shabbat services were run by members of the congregation. As the congregation grew, it affiliated with the “Tikvah” (Hebrew: hope) Community School. The group used the Silverman Conservative Sabbath and Festival prayer book and the Hertz Chumash, and initially followed a separation of men and women’s roles in public prayer. In the 1990s, however, the congregation moved towards an egalitarian model, and began including women in services and Torah readings. By the 2000s, membership declined due to affiliation at other area congregations and the relocation of some members.  The congregation formerly dissolved on May 6, 2002. Some of the documents reproduced from the vertical files of the Cofeld Judaic Museum Archives at Temple Beth Zion show the interconnections between other congregations, including Anshe Emes and Brith Sholem.


Discover More

  • You can learn more about this congregation from the records donated by Cynthia Friedes, the financial secretary of the congregation. These are located at the University at Buffalo in The University Archives, located on the fourth floor of Capen Hall on the North campus in Getzville, NY.

Contribute to this Page

We are seeking photographs, documents, mementos and written recollections relating to Kehilat Shalom for digitization. If you have materials you’d like to make available for this purpose, please contact us.

Thank You

A small amount of material also exists in the archives files of the Benjamin and Dr. Edgar Cofeld Judaic Museum at Temple Beth Zion. Our thanks to Temple Beth Zion and the Cofeld Judaic Museum for making these scans available.