Who We Are

The mission of Rodef Shalom is to build and sustain a vibrant Reform Jewish community. We guide and support our members in living full Jewish lives throughout the lifecycle, based on torah (study), avodah (worship) and gemilut hasadim (acts of loving kindness). We strive to be a national and international leader in Jewish thought and practice.

Rodef Shalom Congregation has been a beacon in the Reform Jewish community for more than 150 years. From the middle of the 19th century onward, our congregation—with its rabbis and lay leaders—has  pushed for the modernization of Jewish thought and practice. Rodef  Shalom’s members have debated Reform Jewish platforms and principles and  the decisions—ratified within the walls of our sanctuary—have brought  about changes to the practice of Reform that are now taken for granted.

We are diverse. Many Rodef Shalom families can trace their involvement back through the generations, while others are relative newcomers. Many of our members were raised as Jews in Jewish households. Others have come to us through other faiths and traditions. All who espouse liberal Judaism and the values it represents are welcome within the Rodef Shalom community.

The 21st century is underway and we, as a congregation, hew to our values—life based on serious and thoughtful engagement with our sacred texts, meaningful and inclusive worship, and a deep and abiding involvement with the wider Jewish and secular communities—as we did at our founding a century and a half ago. We believe these things and do these things so that we might have a hand in repairing our fractured world.

This is an exciting time at Rodef Shalom. We will continue to build upon the best of Jewish tradition and we will redouble our efforts to be the center of Jewish activity and thought in Pittsburgh. We look to the lessons and glories of our past, we keep an eye on the ever-changing present, and we embrace the possibilities of the future so that together we can create enduring Jewish memories for our children and secure our community’s future.

What is Reform Judaism?

As Jews, we remain Sons and Daughters of Abraham, but our encounters with other cultures have taught us much. Reflecting these realities, Reform Judaism asserts that a Judaism frozen in time is a static monolith, not a living fountain.