Since its founding in 1992, Congregation Kol Ami is an important leader in the Jewish, LGBTQ+, and West Hollywood communities. Its commitment to progressive spirituality, diversity, inclusion, and social justice has been celebrated nationwide. As West Hollywood’s premier Reform synagogue, Kol Ami is an award-winning congregation by daring to be innovative while remaining rooted in Jewish tradition and practice. Kol Ami is committed to a world in which all individuals are honored and connected in community and is a gathering place for Jew and non-Jew alike.
Kol Ami’s Founding Rabbi, Denise L. Eger, has served with distinction the Jewish and greater communities for over 30 years. She is an internationally known LGBTQ+ and human activist. Rabbi Eger is the editor of the new groundbreaking book – Mishkan Ga’avah: Where Pride Dwells: A Celebration of LGBTQ Jewish Life and Ritual.
Rabbi Eger was named by Huffington Post as the most inspiring LGBTQ clergy person. Past President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, (the international organization of Reform Rabbis), she was the first openly gay or lesbian person in the position and only the third woman in over 150 years. Rabbi Eger is also a Past President of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, the first woman to serve in that post.
She was named one of the 50 most influential Jewish leaders in the U.S. for her work on LGBT rights. She was the founding President of the Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Interfaith Clergy Association, a founder of California Faith for Equality. Rabbi Eger has contributed to many books and is co-editor of “Gender & Religious Leadership: Women Rabbis, Pastors and Ministers”.
She has been honored for her activism by HRC, Being Alive UFMCC, the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, and the City of Los Angeles. To read more, click here.
Assistant Rabbi Max Chaiken joined Kol Ami in July of 2018 and directs The Open Yad Project, Kol Ami’s 20s & 30s community. He is an Interfaith Family Rukin Rabbinic Fellow. A passionate writer, Rabbi Chaiken has published several articles and composes original Jewish music and poetry. His song Eliyahu Hanavi was first published in the Ruach 5771 compilation produced by Transcontinental Music. To read more, click here.
In addition to Shabbat and Holy Day worship, Kol Ami offers numerous programs to the community at-large, including numerous classes and lectures, DocJewmentary Film Series (monthly), HIV+ Support Group (monthly), interfaith activities (as programmed). Through the EZRA Network, a social worker is available the first 3-4 Wednesdays each month and a career coach is available on the last Wednesday. Meeting with either professional is free-of-charge with an appointment.
In 2001, Kol Ami became the first predominantly LGBTQ+ synagogue in the U.S. to construct its own building and offers spaces for rent for your events. Kol Ami’s facilities include a sanctuary with a loft ceiling, an adjoining reception lobby, a library, a complete commercial-style kitchen, a meeting room, and an intimate roof deck. Kol Ami has hosted various types of events. To read more, please click here.
For more information about Congregation Kol Ami, please visit Kol-Ami.org