History and Mission
We are a vital, caring, egalitarian, spiritual home, strengthened by our connection to Conservative Judaism, Israel, and the greater community. We develop and enrich our unique Jewish identities through ritual, celebration, education, and social action.
Founded as Khal Kodesh Adath Israel in 1874
Founded as Khal Kodesh Adath Israel in 1874 in downtown Nashville, our congregation changed its location and its name in 1950. Affiliated with the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, our synagogue family includes those of various backgrounds and ages, born Jews, Jews by Choice, interfaith couples, native Nashvillians, and Jews from places such as Iran, South Africa, South America, the former Soviet Union, and almost every state in America.
We Enhance Ourselves Through Ritual
We are egalitarian, enabling women and men to enhance their lives through Jewish ritual, including counting in a minyan and being called to the Torah. Shabbat is welcomed with a Friday night service at 6:00 p.m. We encourage everyone to participate and provide a transliteration booklet so all may join in prayer and song. Late Friday night services are held periodically. Spirited melodies and participation mark Shabbat morning services. Daily services are held twice each day. We hold alternative services to add variety to our rituals. Preschoolers through first graders love our twice monthly Shabbat morning “K’toni” services, while older children participate in Junior Congregation. Several times a year we have Shabbat dinners after our Friday evening K’toni services. We offer special services for students and parents who have outgrown those services. We call them Post K’ton.” Special children's and family services enliven the holiday schedule as well.
We Enhance Ourselves Through Celebration
We celebrate Jewish holidays together with dinners on Hanukkah—with latkes, of course and Purim. Several times during the year we come together for Shabbat dinners. Our Men's Club and Sisterhood plan social events. We periodically host evenings with special entertainers. Preteens and teens participate in two active, vibrant groups: junior high Kadima and high school USY. The chapters are busy with local, regional, and national programs. Our USY chapter has won the coveted Chapter of Excellence award. West End Synagogue seniors meet regularly for social and cultural programs. We also have a Havurah program for those who want to participate in small groups We enhance ourselves through education.
We Enhance Ourselves Through Education
Our educational activities include a Religious School for children from age three through eleventh grade. The school sponsors many programs: family education for each grade; Consecration; Lunch in the Sukkah; Total Shabbat; Senior Shabbat; Hanukkah and Purim celebrations; Passover workshops; Seder Tu B’shevat; Bar/Bat Mitzvah family class for seventh graders and their parents; a picnic; special Shabbat services and dinners; Baby Days. We are proud that many of our youth are involved in the Conservative movement’s summer Camp Ramah programs. The Synagogue holds extensive adult education programs: Introduction to Judaism; introductory Hebrew; programs leading to conversion to Judaism, Scholar-in-Residence Weekend. Sunday morning classes have included topics such as Spiritual Autobiography; The Power of Prayer; and a History of the Jews in the South.
We Enhance Ourselves Through Social Action
Social action programs include hosting Room in the Inn, which is our opportunity to feed and house fifteen homeless men at the synagogue one night a week during the winter months. We hold food drives for Second Harvest Food Bank and annually fill a Mitzvah Crib so that we may donate to families in need.
We Enhance Ourselves Through Supporting Inter-faith Families Raising Jewish Children
We are an inclusive and supportive community for inter-faith couples and families who are raising Jewish children, and who seek to live a Jewish life. We work closely with both the Jewish and the supportive non-Jewish parent/spouse to create meaningful rituals and lifecycle events.