The Zemer HaZayit Congregation
In 2005, a group of families in the Zayit neighborhood of Efrat, Israel came together to create a new synagogue that has transformed the face of religious life in the community.
The Zemer HaZayit Congregation brings a modern and revitalizing spirit to its commitment to halachic observance (the observance of Jewish law). It does so through three basic principles: 1) women’s maximal participation in the spiritual and ceremonial activities in accordance with halacha (Jewish law), 2) the inclusion and education of children towards prayer and community activities, and 3) joyful prayer through singing.
Zemer HaZayit believes that personal and communal connections to prayer are best achieved through singing. Much of the music and melodies heard at Zemer HaZayit tefillot were composed by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. They clearly contribute to a spiritually uplifting atmosphere. In our neighborhood, Zemer HaZayit is known as the “singing shul”. Its name, which starts with the word “Zemer”, means song.
Through a variety of charity projects, the congregation also looks outward to reinforce its commitment to working for the good of the Efrat community and the nation at large, and to mutual responsibility towards fellow Jews.
The Zemer HaZayit Congregation arose with the support and encouragement of the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, and was headed by Rabbi Dr. David Bollag and Rabbanit Dr. Caroline Peyser Bollag from 2009-2019. Echoing the diversity of Israeli society, the congregation has a diverse membership - native-born Israelis together with immigrants from North America and Europe, Ashkenazim together with Sephardim, newly married couples together with families and grandparents. And in the true spirit of community, they have come together to build a religious community for the twenty-first century.
Welcome to Efrat:
Home Town of the
Zemer HaZayit Congregation
“Synagogue More Inclusive” – Jewish Independent of Vancouver, March 4, 2016, by Rebeca Kuropatwa