As one steeped in Jewish tradition and history, married to a Catholic woman, and having been involved quite comfortably, over many years, with just about every type of synagogue /congregation that you might find, let me explain why The New Reform Congregation Kadima feels like home.

The Kadima philosophy, like Torah, welcomes the stranger, considers kindness and empathy the greatest mitzvot, and is open to change and diversity based on evolving reason and connection to humanity, a process firmly attached to Judaic roots. This can be seen in the construction of our own new liturgy, flavored with the songs and poetry of a familiar siddur or machzor, but also filled with personal longings and inspired ideals about the character and meaning of our current lives. We are taught and guided in this quest by our rabbi and friend, David Oler. He is profoundly familiar with the entire range of Jewish experience, language and centuries of searching. Yet his personal journey has evolved his view of the purpose of religion to one of personal growth, so this knowledge is directed at inspiring us to be better human beings, extracting the greatest principles in our ancient texts and then putting them into action.

In a world where lessons of the past are forgotten in the search for individual power, pleasure and esteem it is urgent to our likeminded Kadima families to cultivate a more enlightened way of relating to others in our children. Kadima’s school principal, Mary Oler and her staff, in addition to conveying custom and culture to our students, focus especially on translating this into an ethic of empathy and compassion in our kids. I take pleasure in attending the students’ Shabbat service Friday evenings where they participate with sparkling insight in the interactive weekly sermon, their noodles alert, learning with joy.



Dear Visitor,

Welcome! I am glad that you are taking an interest in our special Jewish community - the New Reform Congregation Kadima. As its founding rabbi, beginning in the spring of 2010, I am proud of what Kadima has become in a very short time and excited about what we envision for its future.

People from throughout the North Shore and beyond are responsive to our approach to Jewish life, which emphasizes free thought about religious ideology and personal choice in observance. Everyone is welcomed regardless of religious background and personal theological outlook. Most of our members are searching for a progressive approach to religion and its role in their lives. We emphasize religious naturalism - an understanding of physical and human existence consistent with scientific knowledge, coupled with a serious desire for spiritual and emotional growth inspired by the resources and practices of Jewish tradition and the values of religion. Our members and their children are encouraged to aspire to fulfill their potential for goodness and kindness, as well as for autonomy and justice as taught by Judaism. We do not approach religion as having authority over us but as a treasured resource for our personal growth.

Therefore, Jewish learning, textual and experiential, for all age groups, is a priority at Kadima, as is our commitment to social action. At services and in adult classes, as in the religious school, everyone’s viewpoint is respected and emphasis is placed on opportunities for dialogue and the practical application of our learning to our personal lives. Our liturgy consists of traditional and creative selections that are consistent with our philosophical approach and spiritual aspirations.



Mary Oler the principal of our Religious School sets the tone for the gentle, nurturing atmosphere that makes Kadima a place where our children like to be.

Mary is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in psychology and child development. She earned a master’s degree in religion at Yale University and completed an internship at the Yale Child Study Center. She is a member of the Reform Movement’s National Association of Temple Educators.

She has extensive experience in religious educational leadership, having directed schools and camps prior to her work at Kadima. She seeks to foster an environment of commitment to spiritual values and to Jewish identity for our children.


Congregation Kadima’s Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide for our members and their children, regardless of cultural background, opportunities for spiritual growth and character development, through the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, sensitivity in interpersonal relations and pursuing deeds of loving kindness. We draw inspiration primarily from Jewish sources and offer a spiritual home to seekers with doubts regarding conventional religious ideas and practices. We affirm pluralism and respect for diversity and invite all kindred spirits to join us.

Specifically, we undertake the following goals:

1) Striving to be more humane and compassionate, patient and kind; to pursue truth and justice.

2) Deepening our commitment to social action programs that foster our spiritual growth through helping others.

3) Studying meaningful sources, such as the Torah and other Jewish literature, as we explore fundamental questions about human existence and ethics.

4) Celebrating together our life cycle events, as well as the Shabbat and Jewish holidays, using liturgy consistent with our ideology.

5) Offering opportunities for introspection and sharing.

6) Developing a caring community based on mutual values and aspirations.

7) Providing a religious school that parallels the program of the congregation, teaching its perspective and ensuring that students are familiar with Hebrew and with Jewish tradition.

8) Strengthening our connections with the larger Jewish and general community.

9) Respecting the religious and ritual freedom of all congregants.

Congregation Kadima’s Religious School Mission Statement


Shalom! Welcome to the New Reform Congregation Kadima, a warm, inclusive, caring community committed to Reform Judaism from a progressive perspective. At Kadima, religion is about aspiring to be the best human beings we can be. Our name, which means “forward,” expresses our progressive approach to Judaism and to how we function as a congregation. We are distinguished by our creative, contemporary liturgy, vibrant, child-friendly religious school, and extensive involvement in community service.

Congregation Kadima is more than a local synagogue. Because of our unique ideology and distinctive character, we draw from a wide geographic radius. We are committed to pluralism. Everyone is welcome, and intermarried families are warmly received and participate fully in congregational life. Our congregants are diverse, freethinking, and friendly. We enjoy learning, celebrating, serving, and socializing together.

Congregation Kadima– You’ll be glad you found us!