Congregation Am Haskalah
Since our founding in 1978, Am Haskalah has been a small, vibrant congregation in the Lehigh Valley, PA, committed to the values of Reconstructionist Judaism. Reconstructionist Judaism affirms the belief that Judaism is an evolving religious civilization and as such, communal decisions are informed both by the richness of Jewish tradition and the gifts of contemporary society. (For more information on Reconstructionist Judaism, visit the website of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation at www.jrf.org.)
Am Haskalah’s Shabbat and holiday services include singing, traditional Hebrew prayer, engaging Torah discussions, and creative elements such as contemporary poetry and writings by congregants. Am Haskalah strives to engage both the intellect and the spirit, and life cycle events are carefully crafted to be meaningful and transformative. Tefillah, or worship, at Am Haskalah is led either by the rabbi or by lay leaders.
Congregation Am Haskalah comes together to celebrate the end of the week with Shabbat Services using the beautiful, contemporary prayer book of the Reconstructionist movement, Kol Haneshamah. Services generally begin at either 7PM or 8PM on Friday nights. Once a month, we hold a dynamic family Shabbat service at 6PM followed by a community potluck dinner. We also hold monthly Shabbat morning services, beginning at 9:30AM. During the summer, Shabbat services take place every other Friday evening at a member’s home. Visitors are always welcome.
For up-to-date information on service times and locations, please visit our online calendar at www.amhaskalah.org; sign up for our e-mail list by e-mailing info@amhaskalah. org; or ask to be added to our phone announcement system by leaving a message at 610.435.3775.
Congregation Am Haskalah’s religious school provides our children with a quality Jewish education in a fun, open and supportive atmosphere that encourages and depends on high parental involvement. Our students study Hebrew and prayer, holidays and ritual, life cycle, Jewish history and culture, and Jewish ethics. Because Am Haskalah’s religious school is relatively small, we tailor our class levels for the particular students enrolled each year.
Vicki Graff, a dynamic Jewish educator with a background in theater education, is Religious
THE RECONSTRUCTIONIST MOVEMENT
The Reconstructionist movement has been one of the pioneers of women’s equality in Jewish congregational life and worship, and Am Haskalah was the first congregation in the
Rabba’s services are marked by musical creativity and partici¬patory prayer. She brings ten years of experience in Jewish education to her position, including work as a teacher and curriculum specialist with interfaith families, children, and adults.
Am Haskalah is a spiritual, multigenerational community – one in which individuals, couples, and families come together for learning, prayer, life-cycle events, music, creative arts, sharing food, mutual support, and friendship. We have a commitment to social justice and to working together to bring healing to our world. Our members come from diverse life situations, backgrounds, and political and religious perspectives, and we welcome non-Jewish partners of our members as well as individuals studying to become Jewish. Each member brings his or her unique gifts to our community.