Neveh Shalom, Portland’s Oldest Conservative Jewish Congregation, Welcomes People of All Backgrounds into Vibrant Community

Neveh Shalom has a rich history spanning over 150 years. The congregation and affiliated synagogue have preserved Jewish customs with progressive values throughout this time, remaining open to discussions about modern issues. Neveh Shalom developed after the merger of two different congregations into a single synagogue dedicated to uplifting Jewish customs. One of the initial congregations was founded in 1869 by Polish and Prussian immigrants. For almost a decade, Rabbi David Kosak has led Neveh Shalom. His passion for supporting the Portland Jewish community has evolved the congregation as a whole, enabling existing and new members to receive unparalleled support.

Screenshot 2024 06 28 at 4.24.48 PM

For many decades, American social structures and Judaism have overlapped, creating a space for Jews to find community. However, external factors have threatened the existence of these safe spaces. It’s more important than ever to protect and grow congregations and synagogues dedicated to Judaism. Without continuous conservation of Jewish values and traditions, the legacy of millions will be erased. Neveh Shalom, the second oldest Jewish congregation in the Pacific Northwest, has taken on this burden with great pride. Since the combined congregation was established in 1961, Neveh Shalom has evolved into the oldest conservative congregation on the American West Coast. This vibrant community nurtures the minds, hearts, and spirits of visitors with inclusive, engaging programming suitable for all backgrounds, orientations, genders, and viewpoints.

Neveh Shalom provides educational, social, and cultural opportunities for adults and children. Interfaith and dual heritage families, young professionals, and LGBTQ individuals can all find something of interest at Neveh Shalom. The synagogue has extensive service offerings and interest groups focused on books, environmental consciousness, music, Israeli culture, and more. Seniors can also bask in Jewish history through the Wondering Jews program, which offers them the chance to visit museums, consume content, and attend talks centered on Judaism.

Under Rabbi David Kosak’s guidance, Neveh Shalom has developed a unique approach to worship and community building. David’s roots as a former chef and entrepreneur enable him to see differing perspectives that bring added value to the congregation’s offerings. After following his call to spiritual leadership, David has developed his inherent capacity to guide others. Throughout his previous clergy positions, he has infused wisdom into Neveh Shalom’s atmosphere, bringing compassion and honesty to the forefront. It’s in this environment that people can experience the enchanting benefits of gathering with like-minded people to share moments of grief, happiness, and devotion.

“Against an age of alienation, isolation, and polarization, we are building a community of connection and encounter,” says Rabbi David Kosak. “Our goal is to fulfill the prophet Isaiah’s dream: Neveh Shalom will be a house for people of all backgrounds, orientations, genders, and viewpoints. We will then share our culture with the larger community and world.”

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.