create Jewishness

Judaism is active and thriving at the Congregation of Moses in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our synagogue is over 130 years old and we have occupied our current site since 1961.

CoM is affiliated with the USCJ and we participate actively in the Jewish Federation of Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan. Our goal is to satisfy the diverse spiritual, social and educational needs of all of our members, young and old.

The mission of the Congregation of Moses is to nurture the spiritual and cultural values of an active Jewish community – to create Jewishness. We hope you will be a part of our community! We welcome you to contact us if you have any questions about our synagogue or the Kalamazoo Jewish community.

The Congregation of Moses, an egalitarian traditional synagogue, welcomes all interfaith families.

We are open for Shabbat morning services!

Our reopening protocol will remain under continual review as CDC, MDHHS and local guidance warrant.

In order to enter the building for services, the following procedures will be observed:

  1. As per CDC and MDHHS guidance, the Congregation of Moses encourages and recommends that all members be vaccinated.
  2. While in the synagogue, members and guests who are vaccinated will not be required to wear masks.  However, unvaccinated congregants and guests will be required to do so while in the building.
  3. Guests not known to the usher to be vaccinated will be asked a limited set of screening questions.
  4. Please note: Online services will still be available if an individual does not feel comfortable with the possibility of unvaccinated people in the synagogue. To watch the livestream of the service, click here.

In the sanctuary, the following protocols will be observed:

  1. The first two rows and the first three aisle seats will be left empty.  Additionally, unvaccinated congregants and guests should sit three unfilled seats from one another. Families may sit together.
  2. As previously stated above, unvaccinated congregants and guests are required to wear masks when seated.
  3. Tallitot for use at the service will be placed on a table marked “Clean.”  After use they will be placed on a separate table that is designated to receive the used items.
  4. To maximize ventilation, fans will be on, windows open and the social hall dividers fully open.  Extra seats will be set up if needed.

In the lobby and the rest of the building, the following protocols will be enforced:

  1. In consideration of others, unvaccinated congregants and guests are required to wear masks when in other areas of the synagogue.
  2. Bathrooms should be used by only one person at a time unless with a family member.
  3. The water fountain will be off and small bottles of water will be provided.
  4. The library will be open and signs placed reminding people to maintain physical distance.
  5. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available near the front doors.

Services will run as follows:

  1. Torot will be removed and returned to the Ark by the Torah reader(s).
  2. There will not be a Torah procession.
  3. Congregant participation in the service, such as aliyot, will be performed by standing and reciting the brachot at your seat.
  4. The Haftorah reader will use a lectern set up at the top of the ramp.
  5. Kiddush and Oneg will not be provided at this time. However going forward, wearing masks will be mandatory when preparing food in the Mitbach and Mitbachon. More details will be forthcoming.

Special events such as B’nai Mitzvah:

  1. Gatherings of 65 or more will be held outside.
  2. If a tent is used, side flaps should be up to allow for maximum ventilation. The tent should be sized to accommodate twice the number of expected participants.
  3. While in the tent, people who are vaccinated will not be required to wear masks. However, unvaccinated people (age 2 and older) will be required to do so.
  4. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available in the tent.
  5. Food can be served but must be done in a manner that avoids crowding and should be portioned out by waitstaff.