We are an independent Minyan that operates on Shabbat mornings, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and the Yom Tov mornings of Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot. We occasionally pull together additional services so that, for example, a member can say Kaddish.

This reflects the evolving skill sets of our members and friends, who are 100% responsible for making everything happen in our services. The services and ritual norms reflect the Conservative movement in their traditional style and substance, but we do not belong to any movement.

We have no pulpit serviceRabbi, and have relied to date on the fr
iendly advice of various Rabbis in the community who are members of the Kehillah but hold other “day jobs” in the Dallas Jewish Community.

We daven in a private home that provides us a stand-alone, separately accessed space which we have turned into a cozy and haimish little shul. It seats up to 45 people and has a separated play area full of books and toys.

We have benefitted from generous donations of an ark, siddurim, chumashim and High Holiday machzorim from various local synagogues and day schools, and over time we have purchased two Holy Torahs plus new Stone and new Eitz Chaim chumashim. The latter choice is a great reflection of our point of view: we are interested in what the traditional and the non-traditional commentators have to say. Sometimes people can be seen balancing both books as they follow the Torah reading and compare / contrast the materials!

All of our members have been (and many continue to be) members of other synagogues, as we do not provide, for example, a regular daily minyan or a Hebrew school.

According to Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, “ ‘Empowered Judaism’ is a Judaism in which people begin to take responsibility for creating Jewish community, without waiting on the sidelines.” We believe that Kehillah Chaverim lives this Empowered Judaism outlook. If we have a wonderful Kiddush lunch (as we do every Shabbat) or an inspiring D’var Torah, etc., it is because we have done it ourselves. [Yes, we do retain an excellent local Cantor for the High Holidays, recognizing our own limitations, but even here we very carefully decide the contents and structure of the services, chant all the Torah and Haftarah, and more.]

This outlook has also enabled us to create an especially welcoming atmosphere for those members who wish to learn to read Torah, chant Haftarah, lead services, and so on. Trying something out for the first time, while looking into the room and seeing maybe two or three dozen friends full of encouragement, is a very different experience from being a first-timer in a typical “corporate” sanctuary!