Congregation Shalom was formed by approximately 25 families beginning in January, 2021 and was incorporated in March, 2021. Born out of adversity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the congregation is built on the principles of making Judaism accessible; inclusion and acceptance of all who wish to engage in Jewish life; creativity and experimentation in worship; and transparency and collaborative decision-making in governance.
Since our inception, we have joined together for weekly online Shabbat worship services and Kesher Shalom (our children’s education program) classes, and held adult learning sessions throughout the pandemic. We created a mission statement, thoughtfully chose Congregation Shalom as our name in keeping with our mission statement, and drafted and adopted by-laws. We completed the State of Texas incorporation process and received our charter as a Texas Non-Profit entity; we have begun the process of applying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. We hold regular membership meetings and successfully employ the Town Hall meeting format. We celebrated as three young congregants became b’nei mitzvah, held an online Second Night Passover Seder, and conducted online High Holy Day services. We elected and installed officers and consecrated Congregation Shalom.
Prior to the establishment of Congregation Shalom, our founding members were all members of Temple Chai, which was founded in 2005 and dissolved in March, 2021. Upon the finalizing of Temple Chai’s bankruptcy proceedings, Congregation Shalom was entrusted with the items remaining in the possession of Temple Chai: siddurim, machzorim, library books, lecterns, Torah ark, educational materials, holiday and ritual objects, Tree of Life Recognition Board, and Memorial Board.
Our Founding Members
Once we received our official Texas charter, we sent out membership applications; at the time of our first Annual Congregation Meeting at which we consecrated our new congregation, 29 families had answered the call and became our Founding Members. Since that time we have added to our membership and look forward to welcoming you to our congregational family!