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15 Reviews
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October 29, 2009

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October 29, 2009

When I lived in Philadelphia, Kol Tzedek was my community. My partner was often away for work, and I felt adopted by this beautiful community. Once when I was sick, the rabbi even brought me saltines! The community is warm, welcoming, diverse and creative. So much of its strength comes from its lay people. The only thing that I felt was a downer sometimes was that we did not have worship services every Shabbat. However the services we did have were musical and spiritual, and the rabbi always had great knowledge to share.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the warm, welcoming community.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

employ a rabbi full time and have its own space. It would do a lot of social justice programming in the community and offer more programs to its members.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 28, 2009

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October 28, 2009

Kol Tzedek is an incredibly warm and welcoming place. As a new member of the community, people reached out to me without my having to seek them out. My significant other is not Jewish and Kol Tzedek is a welcoming place for him too, with many programs for interfaith couples and an accessible service that he can participate in. I highly recommend Kol Tzedek and the incredible community there to anyone who moves to Philadelphia!

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how warm and welcoming everyone is.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 28, 2009

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October 28, 2009

I joined Kol Tzedek in June 2008 and have been an enthusiastic member since. Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann guided me through my conversion process and KT has been just about everything I could have wanted in a Jewish community--warm, welcoming, supportive, spiritual, traditional yet progressive, and fun. I have taken classes, attended services, planned events and made friends. As I get closer to my college graduation I am getting sadder by the day at the thought of having to leave KT if I move to another city.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the great community and Jewish atmosphere it provides.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly, knowledgeable and caring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

buy a new Torah, pay Rabbi Lauren full-time, hire administrative staff, and either fix up our current location or buy our own building, as well as do more community education and outreach.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 28, 2009

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October 28, 2009

I was a reluctant founding member of Kol Tzedek -- I grew up in a reconstructionist minyan and I didn't want to see the West Philly chavurah become a 'synagogue' with a rabbi. I also thought the rabbi-to-be was kind of young. I could not have been more wrong. The congregation has blossomed thanks to a number of community members who've worked very hard and because in Lauren Grabelle-Hermann, we are blessed to have a tremendously talented rabbi. She's learned, smart, loving and warm and handles tricky situations with tact and grace. She's a gifted storyteller, which is a boon for the kids. And when I was in a precarious, frightening situation several years ago, she provided comfort and reassurance far beyond her years. Kol Tzedek is the best non-profit!

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way it responded to my daughter's adoption in 2006. She was the congregation's first baby, and they welcomed her warmly, bringing me food even though I lived outside the immediate neighborhood.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the joy and caring that members express even to strangers. I love going to Kol Tzedek. I moved to a part of Philadelphia that has several vibrant congregations, and I take a train and a trolley with my 3 1/2 year old to go to Kol Tzedek instead.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 28, 2009

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October 28, 2009

Kol Tzedek has been an amazing positive force in my life every since I first attended High Holiday services there two years ago. The range of events and services they offer is staggering --- aside from the expected religious services, their members run a Torah school, cook and deliver meals for families with new babies, involve themselves in community organizations and interfaith efforts (like winterizing homes in West Philadelphia), and so on, all without losing the warm and welcoming community atmosphere that first drew me in two years ago. In all honesty, before attended Kol Tzedek I was feeling very disconnected from my religion and my community. But KT helped me to find the positive aspects of both, and now I'm a committed member and frequent volunteer.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its commitment to social justice for its local and global community.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find out what the community wanted and needed before taking any action.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being able to meet like-minded people and feeling like part of a vibrant community.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very warm and friendly and eager to meet me on my terms.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

continue all its great work for its own religious community (buy its own Torah, pay our Rabbi full-time) and for the West Philly community (run more outreach and interfaith programs, fix up the multi-use community center it uses as a sanctuary).

Ways to make it better...

there were a few more volunteers to share the thankless job of keeping things running.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

trying to hold onto its roots and values as the membership grows and diversifies

One thing I'd also say is that...

I love KT and hope that it continues to thrive!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 27, 2009

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October 27, 2009

I have just moved to West Philadelphia and was looking for a nearby Reconstructionist congregation. Kol Tzedek was the perfect fit! Although I have not been able to commit much time to attending events and services, the ones in which I do participate always prove to be very worthwhile. The services are both familiar and unique. Everyone is very welcoming and I feel very lucky to have found such a comforting congregation in this new city.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my spiritual growth and personal enjoyment.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make the meeting center a little closer to where I lived.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

it's musical Friday night service, Kol Tehilla , which featured some of the most beautiful voices I've heard and provided a unique, uplifting, and spiritual experience.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

welcoming, friendly, and introduced new ideas.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

better serve the congregation and community even more than it does now.

Ways to make it better...

I could have stayed longer to meet more people.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the lack of funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I'm so happy I discovered it!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 27, 2009

more

October 27, 2009

Kol Tzedek started as a small but dedicated group of individuals committed to Jewish rebirth in West Philadelphia, a neighborhood that has been without a synagogue for many years. It has blossomed into a vibrant community that welcomes people with a range of viewpoints on Jewish culture and practice. As a former chair of programming on Kol Tzedek's board, I've seen how a youthful exuberance and willingness to experiment has blended with interest in the Jewish past to create an organization that appeals young people and young families and serves the urban setting perfectly. It's truly gratifying to see how attendance has grown at services, educational programs, and social justice outreach.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the Torah school grow from a small startup to a well-organized program that attracts young families from around the neighborhood.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 27, 2009

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October 27, 2009

I've seen it go from an idea to a sustaining reality, and throughout have been compelled to participate (previously had become disillusioned with Judaism). I have never before seen a congregation where everyone really wants to be there and enthusiastically takes part in the community, not just going through the motions.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Personal religious experience, community life.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The thoughtfulness and purpose of the activities and service, the positive energy in all aspects of its operations.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 26, 2009

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October 26, 2009

When I was considering a move to West Philly, I had to check out the neighbohood shul before I could decide. I went to Kol Tzedek Friday night service and I was really touched by the geniune affection of the people there. After I joined, I realized that the container of Kol Tzedek is the most successful example I have every seen of a shul that holds a pluralistic membership. Everyone seems to find their niche there. Four years later, I am getting married (this Sunday); both my bride and me were memebers of Kol Tzedek before we even met. This community is thriving. And the best part, you don't need a ticket for high holy days. Just come. Everyone is welcome.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

nobody needs a ticket on high holy days. Everyone is welcome. This "policy" reflects the nature of Kol Tzedek. Come as you are...there is a place for you here.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 26, 2009

more

October 26, 2009

I am a founding member of Kol Tzedek, despite not being a resident of West Philadelphia. (I live as far east as you can in Philadelphia - I watch the sunrise over the Delaware River every morning.) I was drawn to Rabbi Lauren's knowledge and enthusiasm as well as the emergent warmth and sense of community of the kehillah. Unfortunately for me, I was one of Kol Tzedek's first test cases for organizing our Hesed committee when I required multiple operations three years ago. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of visitors, phone calls, meals, offers for help, general compassion, etc. that came from our small community. In fact, many of the KT friendships that I've made have grown from these interactions. I can't say enough positive about our but growing community.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

recipient of hesesd.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

our sense of community and personal investment of our members.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I can't say enough positive about Rabbi Lauren.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand the ways that we meet the needs of our members, bring Rabbi Lauren on full-time, and hire an Executive Director. We are stretched so thin and rely almost exclusively on volunteer efforts.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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