Kahal B'raira

Kahal B’raira is a congregation for Humanistic Judaism in Boston, Massachusetts in the United States.[1] Affiliated with the Society for Humanistic Judaism,[2] Kahal B’raira (pronounced ka-HAL breyra) has offered a nontheistic alternative in contemporary Jewish life since 1975. The congregation aims to welcome all who identify with the history, culture and fate of the Jewish people, including multi-faith families and LGBTQ families.[3]

Sunday SchoolEdit

Kahal B'raira offers secular Jewish education for young people ages 3–14.[4] It also offers bar/bat mitzvah and teen programming including a youth group and employment opportunities in the Sunday School. Students involved in the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program[5] and the Youth group[6] also undertake additional social action projects. The Sunday School collects tzedakah in class throughout the year and then decides collectively what causes to support.

Sunday meetingsEdit

The congregation primarily draws members[7] from Eastern and Central Massachusetts. Adults meet concurrently with the Sunday School 15 times a year.[8] The morning with the children and adults together. After the children leave for class, adult members participate in member-led secular services, and a featured presentation by a guest lecturer on a topic typically relating to Jewish culture, humanism, history, philosophy, arts, society, politics, or other issues. Some past topics include “When General Grant Expelled the Jews”, “Current events in the Middle East”, “Jewish Cooking”, and an annual book group (past books have included “The Zookeeper’s Wife” by Diane Ackerman, “Patrimony” by Philip Roth and “What Remains” by Nicholas Delbanco.

Adult EducationEdit

In addition to Sunday morning programming, adult members may participate in additional Adult Education classes. These may be member led, or may be in a weekend seminar[9] taught by a Scholar-in-Residence.[10] Weekend seminars have been held in 2009 and 2010. Another seminar is planned for the weekend from December 13–15, 2013.


The major Jewish holidays[11] are celebrated include high holiday services, building of and eating in the sukkah, a Tu Bishvat program, a congregational Passover Seder, a Hanukkah meal and party and periodic Shabbat services and get-togethers.

Social action and community involvementEdit

The congregation aims to encourage activities related to social service and social justice, adult education, and social events.[12] The community is lay-led.

The congregation also has a social action committee[13] which coordinates events over the course of the year. Ongoing events have included a blood drive, volunteering at Gaining Ground Farm, serving meals on Christmas at First Church Shelter, contributing to Jewish Family and Children's Services' Family Table food pantry, participating in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of service in partnership with the City Mission Society,[14] adopting needy children/families at holiday time and bringing journaling workshops to women incarcerated at Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Framingham, and also through the congregation's "Sheltering Arts Program."

The congregation's Chesed (Caring) committee[15] offers support to members facing medical illness or other crises helping members in need.

Social eventsEdit

The Kahal B’raira community also offers informal social events throughout the year including organized potluck dinners, an annual winter get-away weekend, group outings to Red Sox games, a summer barbecue and a day at the beach.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Home". kahalbraira.org.
  2. ^ "Home". shj.org.
  3. ^ http://joi.org/bigtent/?sec=find&page=directory&state=MA
  4. ^ "Sunday School".
  5. ^ "Programs".
  6. ^ "Programs".
  7. ^ "Membership".
  8. ^ "Calendar".
  9. ^ "Home". iishj.org.
  10. ^ https://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thejewishadvocate/access/1928363911.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Nov+20%2C+2009&author=Penny+Schwartz[dead link]
  11. ^ "Programs".
  12. ^ "Social Action".
  13. ^ "Social Action".
  14. ^ http://www.cmsboston.org/Community-Partners.html
  15. ^ "Community Care Resources".

External linksEdit