The Jewish community in San Miguel de Allende is quite diverse, and every effort is made to accommodate different ways of being Jewish here in the Bajío. For example, repeated attempts have been made to foster different Friday night gatherings for those more interested in a Reform/English-dominant service, or a meditative group, or a musical Kabbalat Shabbat evening. CHESMA, AC certainly welcomes diversity of expression, but it is up to the members to lead and promulgate the type of services they want!
CHESMA, AC is non-denominational, and encompasses spiritual, educational, social and cultural programming; it is NOT a synagogue. KSSMA is only one minyan group under the umbrella of CHESMA, AC. Anyone who is uncomfortable with the Hebrew-dominant/Conservative service that the KSSMA minyan group offer, (or with women and LGBT members having complete equality in KSSMA's ritual practice), is welcome to form their own minyan group under the umbrella CHESMA, AC at the JC3.
Kehilla Shalom San Miguel de Allende is the Conservative Minyan Group which meets at the JC3 under the umbrella of CHESMA, AC. KSSMA is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and follows an egalitarian/traditional minhag. As members of the USCJ, we follow the guidelines of mainstream Conservative Judaism and strive to conform to the accepted spectrum of Conservative Jewish practice, such as:
- observance of Shabbat and holidays;
- celebrations of rites of passage with the appropriate dignity and respect due life's sacred moments;
- raising of funds with appropriate dignity and respect;
- business dealings with members, staff and suppliers based upon Jewish values;
- keruv (sincere outreach), welcoming and encouraging all members of a household to join in kehilla activities, including Jews by birth or choice, non-Jewish spouses and children of Jews, as well as those on the path to joining the Jewish People;
- endeavor to engage klei kodesh (professional leaders) from among members of the professional organizations of Conservative Judaism;
- treating each other and other kehillot with appropriate derekh eretz (mutual respect) in all dealings;
- explicit endorsement of the vision of Judaism articulated in the USCJ's Vision and Mission Statement: www.uscj.org/Aboutus/OurStructure/MissionStatement.aspx
We are proud to offer weekly Shabbat morning and Holy Day services, with Hebrew as the predominant language of worship. Our siddurim and machzorim are completely translated and transliterated into both English and Spanish to help facilitate full participation as well as comprehension of the traditional prayer service. Services are lay-led, and although mainly Ashkenazic, we feature elements of Sephardic and Ladino nusach. Unlike many of the synagogues in Mexico, we invite everyone interested in Judaism to attend our services and events.
Rabbi Juan Pablo Mejía Restrepo of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is our Honorary Rabbi and Rosh Bet Din for the formal conversion of many of our Mexican members, as well as guiding us in halachic matters whenever called upon. In consultation with Rabbi Mejía, Dr. Dan Lessner, our Baal Tefillah, is the de facto mara d'atra in all ritual matters concerning KSSMA.
As an egalitarian minyan group, women and LGBTQ members will be treated with complete equality in all ritual matters, and will be given the same respect due any other member.
The Kehilla SSMA is a founding member of Masortí México, a group that seeks to represent all the Conservative Jews of Mexico (as well as Central America and the Caribbean), under the auspices of Masortí AmLat and Masortí Olamí.