Woodstock Area Jewish Community- Congregation Shir Shalom


Contacts information – office@shirshalomvt.org, (802) 457-4840

Rabbi Ilene Harkavy Haigh – rabbi@shirshalomvt.org

Mission Statement – WAJC/Congregation Shir Shalom provides the opportunity to be Jewish and in rural central Vermont. We welcome all individuals and families on a “no fee or dues” basis. Shir Shalom places a strong emphasis on educating our children, which relies upon and is the responsibility of the community. We welcome non-Jewish partners and strive to create a “family” of Jewish people that desire to maintain and nurture the warm, personal feeling that has flourished at Shir Shalom since its inception. Our goal is to maintain and grow that “family”.

Organization Description – In 1988, Stuart and Antoinette Matlins organized a Shabbat potluck dinner.  We lit candles, said Kiddush, sang “Shabbat Shalom,” and felt nourished by both the food and the experience of simply being together as Jews.  The WAJC was born!  For the next 19 years the WAJC flourished under the spiritual leadership of Stuart. With a thriving Hebrew school, an increasing number of congregants and a new sanctuary in place we continued our growth with the addition of ordained rabbinic leadership.

Today, based on the original vision to create an inclusive community, Shir Shalom continues to value the joy of coming together to pray, to learn, and to support one another. Our approach to Judaism is to be openhearted and inclusive. We do not define membership in terms of dues, but in terms of participation. We have always relied on entirely voluntary gifts for our financial  support. We do not charge dues, Hebrew school tuition or High Holy Day tickets. This is a core part of who we are and the vibrant community we have fostered. All are welcome to become members of the community.  Our faith in people and God has always met our needs. 

Rabbi Haigh leads Shabbat Services on the first and third Fridays of every month.

Affiliated with URJ.