According to a survey just released by Jewish Living Magazine (read about it here), West Seattle is one of America’s top 10 Jewish neighborhoods. No surprise to WSB’s newest sponsor, Kol HaNeshamah, West Seattle’s progressive synagogue, which is advertising here to let you know it is celebrating its 5th anniversary during the Shabbat service tomorrow night at 7 pm (at Alki UCC, where Kol HaNeshamah has shared space with the church for all of those five years). The congregation’s rabbi, Michael Adam Latz, says, “I am profoundly humbled and honored to serve as the Rabbi of Kol HaNeshamah, where every day, people from all walks of life gather to worship, study, and work to repair our broken world.” Here’s what the synagogue wants you to know: “Kol HaNeshamah is a congregation of 145 member families. They include the young, old, singles, families, single parents, interfaith, lesbian, gay, and transgendered people. We pride ourselves on our inclusivity of all groups. Since Kol HaNeshamah joined the Seattle community, we have been highly active in areas of social justice. Our activities include building a home with Habitat for Humanity which provided a home for a Muslim family, the highest earning religious group for the AIDS Walk with Lifelong AIDS Alliance, and our newest endeavor to work with other faith groups in the newly formed Sound Alliance. Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) called Kol HaNeshamah one of its fastest-growing member congregations. This growth is influenced in part by the overall rate of increasing synagogue affiliation among American Jewish households, which grew by 15% between 1990 and 2001 even as the “core” Jewish population declined and the number of intermarried families grew. Rising affiliation rates are largely benefitting the Reform movement.” Member Kate Gordon says, “I can’t imagine raising my son in a more open, welcoming and accepting place. After moving to Seattle 3 years ago, not knowing anyone, this was the first place that felt closest to home.” Again, the 5th anniversary service is 7 pm tomorrow; here’s a map to Alki UCC. WSB thanks Kol HaNeshamah and all our sponsors, listed here along with information on how to join them.
West Seattle, Washington