Jewish Reform Temples in Charleston, SC

Goals

To identify Jewish reform temples in Charleston, SC that are friendly to strangers, have a young population, and are open to new/interested Jews for the purposes of finding a temple to attend.

Early Findings

Preliminary research indicates that there is just one Jewish reform temple located in Charleston, South Carolina. Based on information from MavenSearch, a Jewish web directory, there are only four temples altogether in Charleston, of which two are "modern orthodox," one is conservative, and one is reform (Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim).
  • There are several Jewish reform temples in South Carolina, but most are not located in Charleston.
  • According to the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, there is one reform temple in Charleston, which is Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim. This is confirmed by Kosher Delight, which lists just one additional city with a reform temple. There are several orthodox Jewish temples as well.
  • Other cities where there are Jewish reform temples in South Carolina include the following:

KAHAL KADOSH BETH ELOHIM

  • Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) is located at 90 Hasell Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • KKBE is the "birthplace of Reform Judaism in America" and has the oldest sanctuary in continuous use in the United States.
  • To the KKBE community, the word "reform" is a verb and its mission states that "through reflection, study, experimentation and change, we affirm the ability of our congregation, and its individual members, to grow and evolve Jewishly. We strive to be lifelong learners, open to finding wisdom in ancient texts and spirituality in modern songs. We take seriously the mandate of Reform Judaism to make “educated choices;” we empower our members and educate our children to make Judaism a meaningful and significant part of their lives."
  • The temple strives to create an inclusive community for "all individuals who wish to make KKBE their spiritual home."
  • KKBE calls itself an "inclusive and caring congregational family" that is "committed to providing opportunities for practicing Reform Judaism in an atmosphere of warmth, mutual acceptance and historical significance."
  • There are 500 families that worship at KKBE, which indicates its congregation is on the younger side.
  • In addition, in line with its original mission of remaining relevant to younger populations, "KKBE also is striving to be more relevant by offering ministries that resonate with youths, similar to what the 42 progressive Jews did in the 19th century."
  • The synagogue is undergoing $1 million in renovations that begin earlier this summer and are expected to be completed in February 2020, but "KKBE will remain open during the renovation and tourists will see a video about the sanctuary in place of a sanctuary tour. Members will attend services in the synagogue’s social hall."

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