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About Mishkan Shalom

Relevant, profound, & progressive Judaism

Welcome to Mishkan Shalom, a Reconstructing Judaism congregation dedicated to repair of the world through prayer, study and acts of caring. At Mishkan Shalom, you’ll find profound and dynamic services, life cycle events and Jewish cultural celebrations, a vibrant congregational school and teen program and a shared commitment to social justice that’s grounded in Jewish values and texts.

Traditions for today

People from a wide range of observance and backgrounds are drawn to the congregation’s Reconstructionist approach to Judaism, Jewish holidays, Jewish ritual, and life’s celebrations and sorrows. The Reconstructionist movement, founded by Mordecai Kaplan in the early 20th Century, reexamines Judaism’s traditions, texts and rituals to meet the needs of contemporary life. Click here to read a bit more about Reconstructing Judaism.

Mishkan Shalom was founded in 1988 with a Statement of Principles that expresses the synagogue’s commitment to integrating three areas of Jewish life: Torah - study, Avodah – prayer and G’milut Hasadim / Tikkun Olam – acts of caring and repair of the world. Today, we are proud to say that our Statement of Principles still holds. In fact, we invite prospective members to familiarize themselves with them as part of the membership process.

We are a synagogue steeped in activism aimed toward Tikkun Olam, Repair of the World, through prayer, study and acts of caring. Our members engage in a wide range of Spiritual Life offerings. Our Lifelong Learning program is robust with members and non-members alike participating in classes offered on varying days and times. With many members who are artists, artisans, musicians, writers and scholars, Arts & Music thrive at Mishkan.

We offer programs for our young people at every age and stage: From Tot Shabbat, to our exceptional Congregational School, B'nai Mitzvah and Pathways to Confirmation Programs and our Teen Program which connects our young people with their peers from nearby synagogues.

Our community is rich in diversity – in Jewish observance, family structure, ethnicity, religious heritage, politics, household geography and economics. People from traditional Jewish backgrounds and families value the congregation’s embrace of those who may have felt excluded or invisible in other Jewish settings such as multi-faith families (partners who are not Jewish are full members as well), Jews by choice, Jews of color, single Jews, families formed by adoption, single parent families, Jews with disabilities, Jews with limited means, those with little familiarity with Jewish practice and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer Jews. At Mishkan Shalom, our lay and rabbinic staff and your fellow congregants will honor your individuality and where you are in your personal journey to find meaning in Judaism. You’re welcome at Mishkan Shalom to share your faith and doubts, to pray, learn, and teach.

Sanctuary of Peace

The Hebrew phrase Mishkan Shalom means sanctuary of peace – reflecting a core commitment to social justice and to creating an atmosphere of mutual respect in which congregants may discuss different opinions about difficult issues while remaining a community. Tikkun Olam is the hallmark of Mishkan Shalom’s history and identity. Ethical themes in Jewish observance, prayer and study inform congregants’ efforts to create meaning and healing in their own lives, and to work toward healing what is broken in the world. Reflecting the central place of Israel in Jewish life, >Mishkan Shalom hosts speakers with a range of perspectives who encourage respectful dialogue and explore topics related to Israel’s history and culture, Palestinian and larger Middle East concerns and the shared humanity of Israelis and Palestinians.


About our Building

Located in a renovated mill in the Roxborough-Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia, Mishkan Shalom’s architecturally striking building, and adjacent outdoor amphitheater and gardens, reflect simplicity and environmental stewardship. The sanctuary features a solar powered ner tamid (eternal light). The building has received an Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star award for energy efficiency. The building is available for rental, click here to learn more about meetings, workshops or even weddings!

In addition, we have a number of policies relevant to the use of our building. Please click here to learn more.

Financial Commitment

Before you make your self-assessed financial commitment, you will need to have met with our membership team and rabbi and agree to support our Brit HaMishkan and Statement of Principles. Once we have made a connection, you then discern and choose your self-assessed financial commitment level. Regardless of whether a household has one or two adults who are both or one partner is Jewish, all adults are considered full members. You can speak to Rabbi Shawn about our Haverim/Seekers membership status for those who want to explore deeper ties with us who do not have a Jewish person in their household and do not fall into the above category.

To meet the needs to all who wish to deepen their connection and commitment to Mishkan Shalom in the covenant of membership, we have a range of membership commitment levels. Visit our join page to explore the benefits and responsibilities of membership.  We are committed to the principle that those with greater means will give more, and those with less will give up to their ability. Our membership team (including our Rabbis) are happy to support you in this Jewish values-based decision, though you are free to self-assess without needing to justify your commitment to get approval beforehand.

If you would like to read more about some Jewish values-based approaches to money and community, click here.

Return to our Join page.

Tue, October 3 2023 18 Tishrei 5784