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Our Philosophy

Welcoming, diverse, multi-generational and egalitarian community located in Hyde Park, Chicago.

Congregation Rodfei Zedek is a community united in its pursuit of meaning. We focus our energy on what we do well - which is storytelling, meaning-making, and community-building. 


We are a warm, welcoming, diverse, growing, and intergenerational community. But we don't expect you to take our word for it. To truly grasp what makes Rodfei Zedek so special, you need to experience it in person. We can, however, tell you what we believe and how that impacts the experience of our members. 


Although Rodfei Zedek was founded in 1874, we believe that doing things "the way they have always been done" is not a good enough reason to continue doing it. We believe in creating a space for Jews who have a relationship to their synagogue that isn't born out of nostalgia or guilt. We believe Judaism is a path of meaning that enriches our members' lives individually and provides the opportunity to make our members' lives about something greater than themselves. Our community makes that path worth walking. We believe that every person has a story worth sharing. Whether you share that story at kiddush lunch, from the bimah during Shabbat morning services, or through service to the broader community is up to you.


Rodfei Zedek satisfies the essential need for community. Our leadership team are careful listeners and observers, so we can respond effectively to our members' needs in this ever-changing world. We also understand that everyone's relationship to Judaism is complex, and that not everyone connects to ritual. But we do know that everyone values being cared for and feeling a sense of belonging. If you seek a more traditional connection to Judaism, you will find that here. If you are unsure of the path that is most meaningful to you, we believe you will connect with one of our multiple innovative options for prayer and study. And we know you will find your Judaism through connection with other members of the community, from the shared experience of eating and drinking together (our delicious chef-created food) and from schmoozing that happens in between moments big and small. 


If you are looking for high quality services, learning, discussions, and sermons, then CRZ will absolutely work for you. If you are a parent of young children and are looking ahead toward a B-Mitzvah, CRZ will be a partner with you to help your child find their place in our tradition and on our bimah. But we hope you want more. We hope you will ask: how will CRZ put me on the path of meaning? We hope you will ask more of the community and of yourself, so that together, we can walk the path that leads to growth of meaning for ourselves, each other, and our community. Together, we can build a better, more meaningful and impactful version of Jewish life for generations to come. 

Tue, July 16 2024 10 Tammuz 5784