For nearly a century, Congregation Kesser Israel has welcomed all to our inspiring services, warm fellowship and joyous celebration of Judaism.
The longest established Orthodox Shul in Oregon, Kesser today is a diverse and close-knit community of approximately 120 families and singles in every age group. Our congregation includes people from all backgrounds and levels of knowledge –joined together by a desire to grow as Jews and to connect as a community.
“I felt welcomed from the first time I visited,” said one member. “I felt appreciated not for who I could become, but for who I am.”
Originally located in the heart of the historic Jewish immigrant neighborhood, Old South Portland, Kesser moved to its current building, in the heart of today’s Jewish community, in 2008.
For many years, Kesser Israel was a lay-led congregation. In 1994, thanks to the support of Torah U’Mesorah, Rabbi Leonard Oppenheimer came to Portland to serve as the shul’s full-time rabbi. Our current rabbi, Rabbi Kenneth Brodkin, and his family came to Kesser Israel in 2005.
Kesser Israel, a member synagogue of the Orthodox Union, is a major source of both Jewish identity and community leadership in Portland. Our current services and programs include:
• Daily dependable minyan morning and evening (Shacharit and Mincha/Maariv) 365 days a year
• Shabbat and holiday services
• Torah learning programs for the entire calendar of Jewish holidays
• Social gatherings and fun events for all ages throughout the year
• A great Shabbat Kiddush as well as Seudah Shlishit
• Shabbat morning childcare and a monthly children's program
• Shabbaton events and classes with visiting scholars from around the Jewish world
• Daf Yomi seven days a week as well as a regular Mishna Brurah class
• Shabbat hospitality
Kesser Israel also takes pride in the pivotal role that both the synagogue as an organization as well as individual members play in the greater Jewish community of Portland. Areas of congregational and membership involvement include:
• Jewish education, including Jewish day schools
• Tzedakah and mitzvah projects, including a major Passover food drive
• Israel solidarity organizations and events
• Helping to ensure Kosher food options
• NCSY & JSU youth programs
• A Jewish Cub Scouts Pack
• The Portland Eruv
• The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland
• The Hevra Kadisha burial society and condolence meals
• And many other activities
We welcome you to join us – for a visit or more – and enjoy the unique richness of a community devoted to G-d through kindness, Torah, mitzvot and love of Israel.