About Our Community
Who Are We?
We Respect Pluralism Various study and prayer communities flourish within the context of a single congregational family.
We Are Committed to Lifelong Learning A bustling day-care center and nursery school, a religious school for children from kindergarten through high school, and one of the finest adult education institutes in the city meet the educational needs of congregants at all stages of life. Adult and peer tutors prepare students for Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies and encourage them to support and learn from each other, and our teenagers often participate in adult services as Torah readers and prayer leaders.
We Have Passion for Social Justice Social action projects as diverse as helping to settle new immigrants in Israel, providing shelter to homeless families, and advocacy on behalf of the local public schools keep our members actively engaged in the broader Jewish community and the community at large.
We Foster Community-Building An extensive selection of programs for families of all kinds, interfaith couples, children, singles, and senior adults provide meaningful activity and social exchange for all members of our community. We invite you to pray and learn with us in a rich and diverse congregation that spans the generations. Many programs and activities are open to the larger community.
Who Are You?
Is your family young and growing? GJC offers a wealth of resources for young families, including day-care, child care during services and events, children's and family services, and family education programs. Most important, you will find a network of other families eager to share celebrations and to support each other at times of need.
Are you wondering how to prepare your children for significant Jewish life? Our Religious School, which unites children from many public and private schools in Philadelphia and the surrounding communities, fosters a strong sense of Jewish identity and Jewish pride. Children work, worship, and play together in an environment designed to make them feel comfortable. For many neighborhood children, the synagogue becomes a second home.
Are you a single adult seeking to meet other adults in a comfortable context? Social events and special programs provide opportunities to meet in a natural setting and share common concerns and interests.
Are you a single parent raising a family on your own or do you belong to a nontraditional family? GJC welcomes all kinds of families to participate in community life. Events in conjunction with our Early Childhood Program offer education and information to parents and provide occasions to celebrate holidays and lifecycle events communally. Family programs for parents of older children frequently involve members of the larger community in workshops and special events. Read about one parent's experience with her children coming "Out at Shul and It's No Big Deal."
Are you the parent of grown children eager to share holidays and special occasions with other adults? GJC offers both structured group activities and informal social events designed to bring people together. Study sessions, workshops, special projects, and parties enable everyone to make contact with others who share common interests.
Are you a senior adult looking for a community and companionship? At GJC you will discover intergenerational friendship and fellowship. A series of programs designed specially for seniors provides opportunities for active, ongoing participation in community life as well as the companionship of other senior adults.
Are you interested in exploring different forms of worship? Three distinct prayer groups gather on Shabbat and on holidays in an effort to better meet the spiritual and religious needs of their members. All groups come together for a lively Friday evening service and for events and observances throughout the year.
Do you want to make connections to the larger Mt. Airy and Philadelphia communities? Our social action program reaches out to our immediate neighborhood and far beyond. Programs and events in conjunction with the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement (NIM) offer frequent opportunities to get involved locally. As part of a network of religious institutions helping the homeless, we shelter families for regular periods during the year. We also sponsor informational programs on local and national issues, politics, and public policy.
Are you looking for vibrant intellectual and spiritual leadership? Come meet and exchange thoughts with our rabbi, Adam Zeff. A scholar, teacher, and spiritual leader with a wealth of ideas and resources, Rabbi Zeff will introduce you to Judaism as old as the Dead Sea Scrolls and as contemporary as sexual ethics in modern Jewish-American culture. Rabbi Zeff is available for conversation and counseling and to address any questions you may have.