Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto’s first synagogue, is a leading Canadian Reform Jewish congregation with a rich history of responding to both tradition and modernity in our religious and spiritual expression. We pursue meaningful opportunities for personal growth and family fulfillment at every stage of life through belonging, learning, prayer and ritual, and acts of service for our congregation and community, our city and country, the Reform Movement, Israel, and all the world.
Founded in 1856 as an Orthodox congregation in downtown Toronto, Holy Blossom Temple joined the Reform movement in the 1920’s and soon became known the world over as a flagship congregation of Reform Judaism. In the 1970’s we began to embrace more traditional practices and today our prayer language and ritual draw from the best of the Reform tradition as well as from Klal Yisrael (the totality of the Jewish People). Within our congregation there is a respectful range of Jewish observance and beliefs. Our commitment is to create a Jewish life, which is meaningful and challenging, authentic and joyful, responsible and relevant.
We aspire to be a sacred congregation in which all of our members, old and new, can connect through participation in Temple life. We come together to learn, pray, have fun, share in each other’s joys and sorrows, reach out to one another in support and compassion, and create lasting and meaningful memories. We strive to be a sacred community in which all congregants and those who may wish to join us feel they are known as individuals and families and that their participation and contributions of all kinds are welcomed, valued, and fulfilling.
We pursue lifelong learning — from formal and experiential education for children and teens to adult lecture series and seminars taught by our teachers, clergy and visiting scholars. Our wide range of enriching study includes sacred Jewish texts and music, Jewish history and literature, practical Judaism, and Jewish leadership, public affairs and Israel. We pride ourselves on the breadth and depth of our offerings and that we open our doors to the broader community to learn with us.
Worship not only draws us closer to God, but also to one another. By coming together for prayer services every day of the year, we sanctify the Jewish calendar. By celebrating and mourning significant moments in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones, we sanctify the Jewish life cycle. Our congregation enjoys many prayer settings — formal and informal, grand and intimate, for young and old, for holy days and ordinary days, led by Rabbis, Cantors and Lay Leaders. Music is central to our religious expression. Our own prayerbook, Siddur Pirchei Kodesh, reflects our congregation’s unique blend of scholarship, innovation and tradition.
Throughout our history, Holy Blossom has fulfilled religious and civic duties by being at the forefront of major social justice issues, both within Canada and outside of its borders. Over the years our leadership has taken bold and courageous positions in support of such causes as the civil rights movement, refugees to Canada, Soviet Jewry, AIDS, and local poverty, to name a few. Through advocacy, fundraising, and fulfillment of ethical mitzvot, we strengthen the lives of individuals as well as our society as a whole. We encourage all who join us to continue our work in mending the world (Tikkun Olam).
We recognize and celebrate Israel as the centre of the Jewish world. The relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry is one of partnership and shared destiny. We feel close to Israel and its growing Reform movement. We share in Israel’s joys and sorrows; we are proud of her many accomplishments and worry for her security. We hold a wide range of views on her social, religious, and political issues and encourage the expression and respectful exchange of these views. We encourage our congregants to provide tangible support for Israel through investments and donations. We also encourage our congregants to travel to Israel for tourism, study, volunteerism, leadership, and aliyah.