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 Mission Statement Minimize
Makom Shalom, Chicago's original Jewish Renewal community, is a welcoming participatory congregation that promotes spiritual growth and social responsibility. While honoring our rich Jewish heritage, our services and practices create a relevant, expressive, and joyous path for today.

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 Makom History Minimize

Makom Shalom was founded in 1991 by Rabbi Allen Secher, based on a vision of Judaism infused with spirituality and spiritual meaning. Initially, Makom was a "havurah," a group of about ten people who met monthly in members' homes. Makom Shalom in Hebrew means "Home of Peace." It found an ideal home at Grace Place reflecting Makom's commitment to coexistence with other religious traditions and to Jewish spiritual renewal, creatively updating traditional religious practices and making them more meaningful and relevant.

The warm Jewish renewal congregation's services and activities are accessible to everyone regardless of their knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew. Interfaith couples and their families feel at home and welcome at Makom. And Makom's members are actively involved in Tikkun Olam, healing the world and the community.


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 Our Values Minimize

1) Makom Shalom is a Jewish Renewal religious community welcoming and integrating persons regardless of their religious background, age, family, lifestyle, or level of Jewish education.

2) To attain meaning and relevance, we explore diverse religious experiences and practices, make traditional Jewish practice new, and create new practices. We respect and learn from other spiritual paths. Furthermore, our services and activities are accessible to everyone regardless of their knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew.

3) To foster a sense of community, we encourage those who join us to participate fully in our activities ranging from services to Tikkun Olam (actions to heal the world and correct injustices), to democratic governance and decision making, and to social activities. As a community, we seek to promote and nurture personal and spiritual growth.

4) We are egalitarian in liturgy and leadership. Women and men are full and equal partners in every aspect of community life and worship. Our concept of the Eternal is not exclusively male or female.

5) We experiment with a mixture of old and new practices designed to create an opportunity for connection with God. We assert that the spiritual quest can be exciting and enthusiastic with an additional goal of helping individuals recognize, explore, and live out their authentic selves.

6) We are aware that the world in which we live is in need of repair, and that our mission is to practice Tikkun Olam, a healing of the earth and of society. Therefore, we urge compassion, justice, respect, healing, and fair treatment toward all living creatures, and support and practice ecologically sound actions that are gentle to the earth.

7) Judaism and Torah are living and evolving. We study and teach these texts, wrestle with their content and meaning, and decide what to draw upon and what to leave behind.

8) We support Jewish education for children and adults. Our teaching is neither authoritarian nor dogmatic; everyone is free to question, challenge, or accept what s/he will without judgment from others.


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 Our vision for Makom Shalom Minimize

- Makom Shalom has a warm and inspiring full time spiritual leader.

- Makom Shalom has an active membership who is in partnership with the rabbi in creating a united spiritual community.

- Members of the congregation and community at large provide sufficient financial resources to support our goals and objectives.

- Makom Shalom has a democratic and cooperative form of governance that supports our values, where every member can have a voice and be as active as they choose to be.

- The Makom Shalom community remains egalitarian and inclusive, celebrating and supporting our diversity.

- Makom Shalom has a larger membership including those who have felt alienated from traditional Judaism or religion in general, and those who seek a deeper, more meaningful spiritual life.

- With Kavannah (intention), Makom Shalom is actively and regularly engaged in Tikkun Olam and challenging social inequities, beginning with our immediate community, expanding to the neighborhood, and continuing to the world at large.

- Makom Shalom offers a variety of Jewish educational experiences to its children, adults, and families, including Hebrew school, and Family School for children and their families.

- Makom Shalom is committed to applying all of these values and principles to the renewal and revitalization of our spiritual practices and our community decision-making and actions.


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