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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.

For upcoming Shavuot activities click here.

Rabbi Goldstein's May Message

Is a new prayerbook really that exciting? Do the words we say or sing matter? Can we even capture the “spirit” of a community on a printed page? Yes, yes, and yes! A synagogue that creates its own Siddur is making a statement— not simply about its past and present traditions and communal customs but also about a real confidence in its future. A shul that creates its own Siddur believes in itself. A uniquely created Siddur expresses the faith that the synagogue is— and will always remain— a communal pathway into individual exploration, growth, reflection, and spirituality 
Please be assured that when/if you attend a livestream service, there will be a special PDF of that service which you can use to follow, whether or not you have Shirat HaLev at home; and whether or not you inscribe a book, there will always be books in the sanctuary for all attendees at any service
Shirat HaLev—“The Song of the Heart”— is also the song of a trusted spiritual home, a community proud of itself, and the belief in potential growth for both the individual and the community.

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.

Sat, May 21 2022 20 Iyar 5782