Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh embraces an Orthodoxy that is modern, open, and inclusive. We are dedicated to the principles of halakha and Jewish tradition, and we believe that these teachings will lead us on the path of righteousness and toward a spiritual connection to God.
We are “modern” Orthodox in the sense that we believe that the modern world should inform our religious experience and enhance our understanding of the laws and traditions of Judaism. We are “open” in the sense that we emphasize that our community is responsible for serving the larger community of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, as well as our local community in Portland and the larger American community. Our members believe that they have a responsibility to work to improve the lives of the people in the community around us as well as the lot of all of humanity. Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh underscores on the following six ideas as central to our mission.
Prayer: Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh was founded as a community of prayer and this remains central to our mission. We encourage attendance at Minyan for the Sabbath and weekday prayer services.
Learning: Our congregation considers Jewish learning and knowledge of the Torah as the central component to Jewish religious identity. For this reason, we offer many opportunities for learning and intellectual religious growth, ranging from extensive beginners program on Hebrew language to classes on the Talmud and medieval Jewish philosophy. We have a wide range of guest scholars who visit the synagogue, who provide us with wonderful gateways to greater knowledge.
Israel: We support Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. We actively promote travel to Israel among our members, as well as aliyah. We celebrate the founding of the State of Israel as a holiday for the Jewish people and as a step in the right direction for the redemption of our nation. We are ready to assist Israel as it attempts to achieve a secure and lasting peace in the Middle East. Israel is not only the name of our homeland, but also the name of our people. We place great importance on the principle of the unity of our people, Israel, and the importance of helping out anyone of our nation who is need of assistance be it through prayer, hospitality, of charity.
Openness: Integral to our mission is the need to give honor and respect to every human being in the world. Our sages teach us that each man and woman and child was created in the image of God, and that we are obligated to honor our fellow human beings. For this reason, we welcome opportunities to program joint aid activities with social organizations and local churches. Our synagogue celebrates Martin Luther King day, in honor of the man who has provided the world with guidance on how to accord respect to each human being in the world.
Youth: Our congregation offers free Bar and Bat Mitzvah lessons and welcomes the presence of children at our services. The Torah commands us to teach our children the precepts of our religion, and the Talmud tells us that the world is sustained through the learning of children. We cherish this important principle of educating the youth of Israel.
Service: Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh takes service to the community as one of its defining objectives. Our synagogue is not only a place in which we can gather to pray, but it is also a place in which we can gather to talk and harbor ideas so that we can take action in the world.
Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh is a home for the young and the elderly, the able-bodied and the mentally and physically challenged. We have redesigned our main sanctuary to make it fully wheelchair accessible, and we are constantly thinking of ways to make our sanctuary and our services friendly and open to all. Our mission of service extends beyond the sanctuary, and we have conducted services and megilla readings for homebound and elderly residents in the greater Portland community. Please let us know how we can be of service to you.