|Rabbi Dr. Gil Nativ
Mike Cronin & Julie Landau
Spitzer Center, 4 Sheizaf St,
POB 568, Karmiel 2161402
Kehilat HaKerem, the Masorti (Conservative) congregation in Karmiel consists of about 70 member units, families, couples, and singles. The congregation’s religious services and social activities – Shabbat and Festival prayers, lectures, study groups, and other celebrations – take place at the Spitzer Community Center, 4 Sheizaf Street, near the Lev Karmiel Mall.
Since August 2015 Rabbi Dr. Gil Nativ is our part-time rabbi and many of our members participate in leading the services. The Board of Kehilat HaKerem comprises 8 people with elections held annually. The congregation membership includes native-born Israelis as well as immigrants from Great Britain, Europe, South Africa, North, Central & South America, and the former Soviet Union.
The Spitzer Community Center originally comprised our sanctuary, a small kitchen and an office. Following a generous donation from the Spitzer family, an extension was built in 2009 adding a large entrance foyer used for kiddushim, a Beit Midrash and a larger kitchen. The building also houses a municipal kindergarten.
Unfortunately, neither the national government nor the local municipality support our Kehila and from September 2017, due to financial constraints, we are not able to renew the contract with the Rabbi.
Activities and News
We circulate a Weekly Bulletin and run a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/-Kehilat-HaKerem- detailing our activities. We organize regular pot-luck suppers for members of the Kehilah to celebrate festivals such as a Seder Tu B’Shvat or for a special Shabbat. We occasionally host guest cantors who teach us new tunes for some of the prayers. We are currently raising funds to purchase new, more comfortable seating for the sanctuary. We also host visiting groups from overseas who wish to find out about our Kehila and the area in which we live.
Around twenty Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies take place each year at the Kehila, attracting families who are looking for a traditional ceremony with a warm, egalitarian family-style approach. The Masorti Youth Movement, NOAM, has regular activities for children aged 9 -12 organised by Shnat Sherut teenagers. Children from the neighborhood pre-schools and first grade are hosted periodically for special holiday presentations.
We offer year-round youth and adult educational programs led by lecturers on a variety of study topics. Our classes are conducted in an open-minded environment and attract participants from the public at large. We are partnered with the Schechter Institute and operate our own “MIDRESHET HAKEREM FOR JEWISH CULTURE.”
We are involved in Outreach to Immigrants, Outreach to the Community at Large, and have been involved in Outreach to local Arab and Druze communities.