Our Mission: What makes us different?

Who Are We?

Membership comes with privileges.

As a synagogue inspired by the cooperative model, the majority of our activities, events, and programs are inspired, designed, written, and facilitated by members.  We take a “let’s do it ourselves” approach. As part of membership, each member has full access to religious school, children’s education, b’nai mitzvot, all services, special events, and gatherings.

Members also receive clergy presence at life-cycle events and times of need. Our rabbi and rabbi-cantor are available exclusively to members for all Jewish lifecycle services, such as naming ceremonies / brit milah, bar / bat mitvah, weddings, funerals, illness, and more.  Rabbis provide all support and appropriate preparation for and through these events as well.

We organize around themes that inspire.

The traditional model calls for American synagogues to organize members into categories, such as Sisterhood, Men’s Club, etc. That standard structure may or may not represent their members’ passions and interests. JCoSD therefore chooses to organize along lines of interest and passion. We create deep community connections. The rabbi, cantor, and others who have taken on a leadership role are advisors and “initiators”  who help each member and each group find a sense of fulfillment through their involvement in JCoSD.

We all matter. 

Our full-time clergy as well as our members see themselves as part of a large, active, friendly, engaged family. While we do have a Board, it acts more as a steering committee than an overseeing body.  JCo members have the right to vote on almost all issues, and they empower the Board to act on their behalf for specific issues.

Most importantly, all members matter, and therefore all members have the opportunity to create an experience that speaks to them. Some members want to lead, and others enjoy participating in Cohorts or Committees. Some members design services, others choose to help in setting up and breaking down at events, while other may reach out to those in need. Members even built and maintain this website!

Non-members are welcome at all events and services, all the time.

We are inclusive! We welcome members and non-members (based on space availability) alike to join us at all activities, events, services, and programs. Because our members create and run almost everything, seeing us in action will give you the best sense of who we are.  We welcome those who are exploring Judaism from any perspective.