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City Shul: Downtown Reform Synagogue


Downtown. Spiritual. Community. Creative. Welcoming. Warm. Intellectual. Musical. Inclusive. Finally!

These are the words we use to describe ourselves, and the words others use to describe us.

Click here to see our full Mission.

Click here to read our anti-racism statement.

If you are interested in learning more about City Shul or attending one of our Shabbat services click here.



Rabbi Goldstein's June Message: Cosmic Weddings!

The metaphor of relationship is used throughout the Tanach to describe not only our yearning for Gd but also Gds yearning for us. The relationship is imagined as mutual, like any good love: spouse to spouse, parent to child, friend to friend. We give and we receive. We care and feel care back. We reach out and hope for an answer.

The upcoming holiday of Shavuot is the culmination of our “engagement” at Sinai when we received our “Ketubah”—the Torah. As a community of commitment, in many ways City Shul is a real life paradigm of this celestial wedding. As we continue to hold relationships paramount in our vision of synagogue life, we will strive to renew old friendships and re-establish the strength of our community this June during the metaphoric Jewish t“wedding season” when we reach out to one another with the love of community.

How will we do this? 1) Starting with Shavuot, we will increase our number of outdoor events, services and adult ed so that within the current COVID reality all of us can be together; 2) All our in-person June services will allow children, so we can once again hear the voices of young people as holy as the prayers themselves; 3) We will celebrate all City Shul births during COVID at a special in-person service on June 25 so that we see the future promise of City Shul; 4) We are discussing ways we can safely bring back Saturday am space and programming for children so that families can re-engage;  5) We will re-establish the service attendance covenant for school families beginning in September so they once again become an integrated part of City Shul; 6) We are researching ways to re-introduce Kabbalat Shabbat dinners, Kitchen Kiddush, and other community-building initiatives; and... 7) YOUR IDEA HERE! 

May we all see each other as partners in this important re-building of the relationships we all treasure.



Announcing Shirat Halev:
The City Shul Community Prayerbook


(Mock up of actual bookplate)

Shirat Halev is our story: the narrative of our history as a community, and a reminder in perpetuity of how we continue to grow as Jews and as human beings.

If you are interested in inscribing a book used in our synagogue in memory of a loved one, in honour of someone, or to celebrate an event— or just in support— click here

The week we launched our incredible new Siddur was Parshat Kedoshim, the crown of Leviticus, which begins: Kedoshim tihiyu, you shall be holy.  Kedoshim: You in the plural. Tihiyu, will be, in the future.

This command, to be holy in community, and to insure holiness for the future, animated me for four years in the creation of this prayerbook which we now hold in our hands. It animated Baruch Sienna in the design, in every detail of every page of the Siddur. It animated every Task Force member, and every discussion we had, from what colour the cover should be to whether we would retain the words M’chaye Hameitim, who revives the dead.

In the list of sacrifices, this fantastic one word appears in Leviticus 19:5: כִ֧י תִזְבְּח֛וּ זֶ֥בַח שְׁלָמִ֖ים לַיהֹוָ֑ה לִֽרְצֹנְכֶ֖ם תִּזְבָּחֻֽהוּ׃

“When you offer a sacrifice of well-being to יהוה, sacrifice it on your own behalf, or literally— offer because you desire to offer."

The Hasidic commentator Sfat Emet says on that word לִֽרְצֹנְכֶ֖ם (desire):

וזה עצמו הנדבה– הרצון

And thats the offering itself: our desire to be in relationship with G-d.

This Siddur holds our desire to be in relationship with G-d, and with each other; to be in relationship with something bigger than ourselves, with our history, with our future. Our Ratzon, our desire to offer, is inked into the pages of this book.

Our community  created its own Siddur with 10—a minyan!—of Task Forces and the input of over 75 congregants in various capacities.Our Siddur holds our communal desire.

Netivot Shalom, another Hasidic commentator writes on our opening verse You shall be holy as G-d is holy:  “How can we ever be as holy as G-d? G-d is asking of us only this: to strive to be better than we think we can be.” This Siddur will make us more communal than we thought we could be, more inclusive than we thought we could be, more learned, more reflective, more prayerful. In short, Shirat HaLev will make us holier than we thought we could be.

May Shirat Halev lift our hearts in joy and song together!

Shabbat Services

For our Shabbat service dates and times please click here 

Online Learning

All Event Info can be found here.

Our Services are live and concurrently live-streamed, while some are Zoom only.

CITY SHUL AT PRIDE

Sunday June 26, 2 PM: SHOW YOUR CITY SHUL PRIDE!

Come march in-person this year with us, under our "City Shul Proud" banner at the Pride Parade! All City Shul’ers— of all ages, and all gender identities, and all allies— welcome! Register here to get the exact location and time and so we can be in touch with you.

Mon, June 27 2022 28 Sivan 5782