WHERE JUDAISM AND JOY ARE ONE!!
Kol Ami is a kehillah (community) dedicated to innovation and tradition resulting in an inclusive, multi-generational community committed to improving ourselves and the world through ritual, educational, and social activities consistent with contemporary Conservative Judaism.
- Welcoming and open Jewish community with a strong sense of belonging
- Judaism that is spiritually satisfying and enjoyable
- Growth in Judaism through life-long learning
- Egalitarian and participatory congregation
- Commitment to the larger community
Aspirational Vision Statement circa 2025
Congregation Kol Ami, a contemporary Conservative congregation, has experienced significant growth in size in the past five years. Many new members and visitors come from across the Tampa Bay region. Beyond our admirable, multi-generational retention of membership, much of our growth has come from Jews at all levels of Jewish/Hebrew literacy and interfaith couples, unaffiliated Jews, individuals exploring Judaism as a choice, and for Jews looking for something different in their practice. Indeed, Kol Ami is known as a participatory and egalitarian place of learning and worship that is welcoming to all.
Shabbat, daily minyan, havdalah and holiday services are inspirational. On Shabbatot when there are no b’nai mitzvah, we will occasionally add at least one form of alternative service. Our traditional Shabbat services roughly follow a published timed agenda so that individuals may participate, as they wish, in parts of the Shabbat experience. Kol Ami has live-streaming of all main sanctuary services and a YouTube channel where the Rabbi’s sermons may be viewed. Many individuals consistently attend services on Shabbat, in person. Whether participating in services on Shabbat, holidays, or at daily minyanim, members always feel that their presence matters. We offer outstanding refreshments after all services and are especially known for our kiddush luncheons. We feed souls and bodies!
Many of our members volunteer through the synagogue or other community organizations, as an expression of our congregation’s core values. Volunteers can track their engagement through our mobile, personalized dashboard of opportunities and activities.
Engagement in the congregation extends far beyond services and ritual activities. Our chavurot are central to Kol Ami life and are self-organized by their members, so members have much in common. Chavurot, along with our Sisterhood, Brotherhood and our youth groups, supply much of the energy for events, whether a rocking musical concert, zimriyah, hamantaschen bake-off, or a beach cleanup. They also take the lead in piloting initiatives that draw upon their talents to benefit both our congregation and the broader community. Members volunteer in a variety of other organizations, e.g., Habitat for Humanity, TJFS Food Bank, Weinberg Village and, seek to address other community needs, e.g., children’s literacy, homelessness, veterans’ needs and other social action projects.
Our early childhood, religious school, post-b’nai mitzvah, and adult education programs are renown across the region. Along with in-person educational opportunities, we offer a range of on demand online classes, live streaming group and individual video conferencing experiences, e.g., synagogue skills, Hebrew language, trope training, Torah and Talmud study, coping with loss, understanding religious services and practices, interfaith dialog, life-cycle events, cultural gastronomy, and annual trips to Israel.
Our youth groups, Chaverim, Boneem, Kadima, and USY have distinguished themselves for their respective programming. The quality of these groups is responsible for attracting many young parents to membership in Kol Ami. Many of our kids’ b’nai mitzvah projects are covered in local media.
Kol Ami continuously updates its security preparations and has an outstanding security reputation in conjunction with law enforcement agencies. We also offer children and adults krav maga, a personal self-defense method pioneered for the Israeli army.
Because of Kol Ami’s reputation in our region, we have grown to a point of needing a second clergy. The search for that second clergy is made easier because our Rabbi has established a highly desirable model of religious, intellectual and community leadership. The Rabbi’s ability to find common ground amid diverse views within our congregation has strengthened our reputation for inclusiveness. Our search attracts candidates wanting to emulate the joy and success of both our Rabbi and our congregation.