Kehilat Gesher – Francophone-Anglophone Jewish Community of Paris
Kehilat Gesher is the only progressive, bilingual synagogue in the Paris region, offering all services in English, French, and Hebrew. Founded over twenty years ago, our congregation includes over 170 families and welcomes some 450 individuals for our annual High Holy Day services. Since 2020, Kehilat Gesher has had spacious premises located at Porte de Champerret in the 17th arrondissement.
As the name suggests, Kehilat Gesher is a community dedicated to building bridges between French and English speaking nationalities, between Sephardic and Ashkenazi heritages, and between spiritual tradition and modern life.
A liberal, egalitarian congregation dedicated to the promotion of Jewish values, Kehilat Gesher is committed to openness and exchange. Educational and cultural activities include a wide variety of classes, ateliers, concerts, and lectures for adults, teens, and children as young as three years old.
Kehilat Gesher helps its members celebrate and honor the fundamental passages of their lives, be it births (brit mila), marriages, or funerals. Forty children are enrolled in our Talmud Torah, and the congregation organizes around fifteen Bar and Bat Mitzvahs every year.
A progressive synagogue embracing both Reform and Conservative values, Kehilat Gesher supports equal rights and responsibilities for both men and women in all religious thought and practices.
Kehilat Gesher is known for its warmth, its openness, and its commitment to social justice through Tikkun Olam: “repairing the world.” The organization is a member of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and have contributed to the constitution of the Fédération du Judaïsme Libérale Francophone en Europe (the Federation of French-speaking Liberal Judaism in Europe), and also one of the founders of the new Assemblée du Judaïsme Libéral, which brings together liberal Jewish communities in France.
- Shabbat services : In the synagogue, everyone has the same rights and duties. Which is why every adult Jew, man or woman, can wear a tallit, put on tefillin, be called to the Torah and lead prayers at our services. There is no barrier separating men and women in the sanctuary. The trilingual siddur takes into account the evolution of our tradition and our place in the modern world. There is also a live streaming available on YouTube.
- Jewish holidays
- Life cycle events
- For kids
- Talmud Torah : The Talmud Torah program aims to teach tradition and values as well as religious knowledge. Based on the principals of tolerance and openness, a hard-working yet supportive environment is offered, where young people can learn about and explore their Jewish identities. Classes focus on liturgy, holidays, Jewish history, as well as learning modern Hebrew.
- Bar/Bat mitzvah : B’nei Mitzvah classes are held on Sundays at Kehilat Gesher with Rabbi Tom. Candidates ages 12 and older will be helped to reflect on what it means to be Jewish; their own values; and what should be the role of Jews in the world today. Students perfect their knowledge of the prayers and prepare the Parasha, Haftara and Drasha.
- For adults
- Modern Hebrew with Millangues : For beginners through advanced. 30 ninety-minute classes from October through June. Yearly cost: around 400 euros. Student fee available if you provide a valid document.
- Introduction to Judaism :
- In French, with Rabbis Pauline Bebe and Tom Cohen, alternating every three weeks at the Centre Maayan (10-14 rue Moufle 75011) and at Kehilat Gesher (7 rue Léon Cogniet 75017).
- An introduction to the great themes of Judaism: the stages of Jewish life, the meaning of holidays and religious practices, reading biblical Hebrew, prayers, an overview of Jewish philosophy and religion. Candidates for conversion or confirmation are welcome. For this class, Hebrew Mekhina or its equivalent is necessary.
- Hebrew Mekhina : Hebrew study with Javier Leibuisky (in French). This preparatory class is required for those attending Judaism classes. Learn to read and write Hebrew in eight sessions so that you can follow services and begin to understand texts.
- Lunch-n-Learn : A weekly adult bilingual study group, exploring biblical texts and contemporary issues relevant to Judaism over lunch.
- Neshama : Neshama is a group of adults who come together to deepen their understanding of Judaism in a small, informal setting.
Neshama, which means ‘breath’ or ‘soul,’ seeks to provide a space for learning and reflection on issues such as women and power, sexuality and ethics, and powerful women in Judaism.
- Kabbalah Monthly Lecture Series : Haniele Harrison : Introduction to the basic principals of the Kabbala. Practical and meditative vision of the Tree of Sefirot. How to find harmony in oneself, in relation to the Other and in the world in general.
- For teenagers
- MahaNETZER, The Liberal Jewish Summer Camp
- For adults
- KG Choir
- People Of the “Books” Reading Club
- “Aimé Pallière” Monthly Interfaith Study Group : Led by Rabbi Tom Cohen and Father Stéphane Biaggi, an open, thoughtful and respectful discussion in French of one chapter of the bible between members of Kehilat Gesher and the St. François de Sales Church.