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Congregation Kehilat Shalom was initially founded as the Jewish Community Center of Belle Mead by four families in 1982. This core group, which quickly grew to eighteen families, consisted of farmers, doctors, teachers, artists, mechanics, and managers. They were seeking a local Jewish identity and an alternative to the large, impersonal synagogues in the area. In joining together, they created a synagogue founded on the intimate and loving spirit of unity.


During those early years, members met in various locations, including the Montgomery First Aid Squad building, the Burnt Hill Road Elementary School, and in their own private homes. Finally, in 1986, after considerable growth, our building on Belle Mead-Griggstown Road was purchased and became our home.


After much soul-searching and discussion, it was decided in 1989 to affiliate with the Reconstructionist Movement, as our beliefs were most aligned with its philosophies. That same year we hired our first full-time rabbi, Shana Margolin, who expanded our religious, educational, cultural, and social programs.


In 2006, under the leadership of Rabbi Michael Tayvah, we changed our name to Congregation Kehilat Shalom (“Peaceful Community”). Rabbi Susan Falk was our spiritual leader for the next eleven years.


In 2018, we welcomed our current spiritual leader, Rabbi Jacob Best Adler. We are a now a congregation of over 100 families, with an active religious school. We also operate a popular preschool, Kindercapers.


We remain committed to the ideals of our founders: we are a warm, caring, down-to-earth congregation in which all are welcome.

Two of our three Torot at CKS are rescued Holocaust scrolls. 


CKS is affiliated with the Reconstructing Judaism movement.


Rabbi Jake joined us in 2018. 


Photo Archive

Have old photos of CKS events, pre-2000? Please share them with us by sending them to

Guest Cantor Sam Morganstern, Bob Fass, Harvey Tesser, Harvey Nussbaum, Arthur Steinberg, Rabbi Richard Hirsch

Sat, July 20 2024 14 Tammuz 5784