About one in five residents of Haifa are Russian speaking. There is a growing interest among Russian speaking Jews in liberal Judaism, an environment to learn and practice their heritage in a non-Orthodox environment. Many members of the congregation, including Rabbi Ilana Baird, learned about their Judaism through progressive, secular, and liberal programs in the Former Soviet Union. They were leaders of congregations and youth movements in their home countries, and after making aliyah, found little opportunity to continue to express the Judaism they understood among Russian speaking friends in Haifa. In that spirit, Shirat HaYam – Carmel was established as a liberal and egalitarian congregation in Haifa, Israel.
A liberal Jewish congregation for young Russian speaking Israelis in Haifa seeking a like minded community people who want to gain a deeper understanding of their Jewish identity and convey Jewish tradition to their families.
Members of our congregation are young Russian speaking families with a strong interest to explore their heritage and want to gain a deeper understanding of Jewish identity and convey Jewish tradition to their families. Many members made aliyah years ago, others joined after recently making aliyah. Shirat HaYam – Carmel is unique in Israel as the only egalitarian and liberal congregation of Russian speaking Israelis in the Jewish Progressive Movement.