Welcome to GSJC
Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation is a small but very active Jewish congregation affiliated with URJ, Union of Reform Judaism, the Reform movement. We are a mix of older singles, empty nesters and young families. We warmly welcome all members of the Jewish faith including interfaith and same sex families. Now in our third decade we provide a close, family atmosphere for Jewish observance, learning and worship.
We celebrate Jewish holidays joyously and provide family workshops, Jewish education for our children and numerous social activities. Our special celebrations include Sukkot under the stars (held at a member’s house) and our communal Chanukah candle-lighting and latke-fest (also held at a member’s home). All of our member families take an active role in helping our congregation come alive with Jewish meaning and warmth. (Read our Rabbi’s sermon on how our congregation creates holy space). For more than 20 years, we have had a special relationship with the First Congregational Church on Main Street in Southington, where we hold our Shabbat services (see Shabbat services calendar) and many other events. We look forward to getting to know you!
In May 2012, we acquired a Holocaust Torah. This is a “saved scroll”, recovered after WWII, from a destroyed community in Europe. We have become shomrim (guardians) of this Torah and we are honored to have it in our congregation.
Our scroll comes from the Memorial Scrolls Trust, MST#888, (the repository for saved scrolls) at the Westminster Synagogue in London, England. It was recorded by the Jewish Museum in Prague as having been collected from Caslav-Golcuv-Jenikov. For more information see “The Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia” by Jiri Fiedler, published in 1991. The author notes the following: Caslav is a town in Bohemia, 70km ESE of Prague. Up to the mid-19th century only one Jewish family was allowed to reside in Caslav. When the Jews were granted civic equality under law in the mid-19th century, Jews from the neighboring villages started to move to Caslav.