Dear Prospective Member,
Our congregation is a center for prayer, learning, celebration and community where every day brings something different and wonderful. Preschool children are busy discovering the world; b’nei mitzvah are busy putting new spins on an ancient tradition; singles become couples; couples marry; families gather to name babies and to seek comfort after the loss of a loved one; talented congregational cooks make meals for shut-ins; and the sanctuary fills with spirit and song at services in observance of Shabbat and the festivals.
Ever since our founding in 1840, the congregation has been committed to not only serving the Jewish community but the larger community. We have always been at the forefront of creative activities for the benefit of all — holding services with clergy of different faiths as early as 1847; helping Russian Jewish refugees settle in New Haven during the Czarist persecutions in the 1880s; creating the very first free Hebrew School for all Jewish children in the early 1900s. Our congregation was an active participant in the struggle for Civil Rights. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached from our “new” pulpit in 1961. We also stood against the war in Vietnam, and in the 1990s, as the Iron Curtain shut down, we again brought Russian Jews here.
We continue our tradition of promoting social justice with projects in which all can participate, such as our Life Is Delicious group preparing meals for a homeless shelter as well as for guests as we join with other religious organizations offering housing during the winter as “Abraham’s Tent”, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, joining in an interfaith women’s study group, and raising — in our own synagogue backyard garden — over a ton of vegetables each summer for area soup kitchens.
CMI members represent the whole spectrum of the Jewish community. Some were raised in Reform homes, some in traditional homes; some came to Judaism later in life. We welcome ALL — regardless of religious, cultural or ethnic background or family structure — who want to become part of our community and our proud legacy. Yet, to paraphrase Robert Frost, “We have miles to go before we sleep…” We invite you on our continuing journey.