In Bucks County, there is a huge outdoor festival, with kosher food trucks and wine-tasting. In Lower Merion, there is a jubilant Purim carnival. In Old York Road, there’s an annual children’s soccer league. And in Center City, there is a Shavuot learning session that goes all night long. These, among many others, are a few of the signature programs hosted by our region’s kehillot — Hebrew for “communities” — each a prime example of how in Greater Philadelphia, the spirit of community and collaboration runs deep.
“Everyone works together for the betterment of our Jewish community,” says Cheryl Barish Erlick, Coordinator of the Lower Merion Kehillah.
Greater Philadelphia is divided geographically into eight kehillot supported by the Jewish Federation: Bucks County, Bux-Mont, Center City, Chester County, Delaware County, Lower Merion, the Northeast and Old York Road. Each individual kehillah is an alliance of synaogogues, community volunteers and Jewish community organizations: a neighborhood-based coalition that works together to tailor its programming and services to fit the specific needs and character of its community. “We’re able to undertake projects together that are bigger than one organization could do on its own,” explains Miriam Steinberg-Egeth, Coordinator of the Center City Kehillah, of the advantages of being part of a kehillah. Eve Berger, Coordinator of Bucks County Jewish Coalition, agrees: “Because of the openness of our community, we achieve so much by working together.”
Through the Jewish Federation, the kehillot are also able to easily work with one another, helping to unite Greater Philadelphia — such as in the Kehillot of Bux-Mont and Chester County’s upcoming Israel70 Kallah: A Night of Jewish Learning, which will be held on February 24, 2018 in King of Prussia.
To find out more about each kehillah or find contact information for your Kehillah Coordinator, click here. And to get involved, start by clicking here to find your upcoming local Chanukah celebrations.