Founded in 1858, Congregation B’nai Israel is a longstanding cornerstone of Jewish life in the Greater Bridgeport area. Our members represent the entire spectrum of the Jewish community. While most were raised in the Reform movement, a significant number of families and individuals for whom our synagogue is a spiritual home come from more traditional households. Still others came to Judaism later in life, either alone or after meeting a Jewish spouse and raising a Jewish family. And many interfaith families find a welcoming home here. Proudly, Congregation B’nai Israel is a gateway to Judaism for all.
Congregation B’nai Israel is a religious center for prayer, learning, celebration, and community. We seek to enrich the lives of our members, contribute to the continuance and vitality of the Jewish people, and commit to Tikkun olam – repairing the world. We strive to offer all members of our community a range of opportunities to express their Judaism.
Congregation B’nai Israel Core Principles and Values
At B’nai Israel we…
…TREAT each person in our community as created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of the divine,
…meaning, each individual in our community is seen as a sacred creation and reflection of the Divine. We strive to be an inclusive congregation and we welcome all into our community, treating each person and one another with the utmost dignity, kindness, warmth and respect.
…DEVELOP, foster and nurture vibrant and meaningful Jewish lives in accordance with the values of our Torah and sacred texts,
…meaning, our sacred texts provide the groundwork for living vibrant and meaningful Jewish lives. It is both within and beyond the sacred gathering spaces of our synagogue community that we engage with these texts and with one another in vibrant and meaningful learning and conversation. Our ultimate goal is for our congregants to go and live, speak and sing these values and ideals out in the world.
…BUILD and deepen sacred relationships both within the synagogue community and the broader Greater Bridgeport community,
…meaning, Judaism is at its core a communal endeavor. We strive as a synagogue community to be a space where congregants build and deepen sacred relationships with one another, creating friendships and study partners, sacred bonds and community.
…ACT justly with a sacred obligation to tikkun olam (repair the world,)
…meaning, Judaism is not only about looking inward, but about our obligation to the world around us. We are guided by the values of Reform Judaism, and are dedicated to the notion of tikkun olam, or repairing our broken world, through community organizing, direct service and advocacy work.
…FOSTER and deepen a love, commitment and connection to the land and people of Israel,
…meaning, as Reform Jews, we accept and support the foundational aim of Zionism: the establishment of a Jewish State in Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. We seek to foster a love and connection to the land and people of Israel, and encourage critical thinking about the modern State of Israel, advocating for equality, democracy and pluralism for all Israel’s inhabitants.