Iyr HaMelech History
Founded in 1975 by members of the Kingston Jewish community wishing to practice a liberal, open form of Judaism, Iyr Ha Melech has become the home of Reform Jewish religious, educational, and social activities for Kingston and the surrounding region.
The principal lay leader in the early days of the congregation was Michael Levison . We are grateful for his dedicated service and the learning and passion he brought to his task. In recent years, we were served by visiting Rabbis on a monthly basis. Our previous Rabbis have included Rabbi Ed Elkin, now at the First Narayever Congregation in Toronto; Rabbi Paul Golomb, now at Vassar Temple of Poughkeepsie, New York; Rabbi Barbara Borts, now at Newcastle Reform Synagogue in England; Rabbi Justin Lewis, currently a professor at the University of Manitoba, Rabbi Michal Shekel, now at Or Hadash Synagogue in Newmarket, and most recently, Rabbi Matthew Kaufman who spent 9 years with us and is now leading his childhood congregation, Kehillat Israel A Participatory Reconstructionist Jewish Congregation in Lansing Michigan. We wish them the best of luck with their new congregations and endeavors, and express our thanks for the help that they gave us as our congregation developed.
With Rabbi William Tepper and Educator Sue Potechin as resources for Jewish study and ritual, we continue to be a participatory community with many responsibilities in the hands of members. What started as a small group of ten families within the local Jewish community has grown to its present membership of around forty singles and families, sharing a love of Jewish learning, celebration, and culture.
As a Reform congregation we have been sought out especially by Jewish families who prefer to worship together, women who wish to take part fully in religious services, Gay and Lesbian Men and Women, interfaith families and non-Jews interested in exploring Judaism.