In October 2019, Congregation Shaare Zedek joined forces with Kehilat Hadar for Shabbat davening, learning, and programming, bringing together both communities for the purpose of forming a strengthened and sustainable lay-led, multigenerational, traditional, egalitarian minyan in Shaare Zedek’s new building that would benefit both communities and enhance the Jewish experience on the Upper West Side.

Founded in 2001, Kehilat Hadar is an independent minyan and a vibrant and spirited community whose services are quite similar to our own. Like Shaare Zedek, Kehilat Hadar emphasizes the values of lay participation and volunteerism, seeks to uphold a traditional, yet fully egalitarian service, and is committed to building the bonds of community among its members.

Working together, representatives of Shaare Zedek and Kehilat Hadar jointly developed a vision statement with the goals and principles of an integrated community. We then agreed on a multi-phased plan for the integration of both communities. In the first phase of the plan, which is taking place now, Shaare Zedek and Kehilat Hadar are conducting “joint operations” as separate legal entities with their own boards and memberships. The two communities are holding Shabbat morning services together as a single minyan in Kehilat Hadar’s current location, and coordinating on various other aspects of synagogue life, including children’s programming, adult education, and chesed activities. 

In the next phase, Shaare Zedek and Kehilat Hadar have plans to move together into Shaare Zedek’s new building when completed (anticipated in late 2020), and to continue joint operations in our community’s new home. 

Finally, within nine months of moving into the building, the members of Shaare Zedek and Kehilat Hadar will vote on whether to become a merged entity with a single board and unified membership.

Shaare Zedek and Kehilat Hadar’s members each met in July 2019 and voted in favor of the proposal to begin joint operations. We are optimistic and excited about this new stage in the long history of Shaare Zedek. Together with Kehilat Hadar, we intend to build a vital and welcoming community on the Upper West Side which honors Shaare Zedek’s past and envisions a bold and successful future in which both communities can together fulfill their potential.

Read more about our vision and values, joint services and programming.