A More Intimate Sabbath

Independant Jewish communities are growing around the country who meet for Sabbath in the homes of their members

Zachary Thacher often spends Friday nights at home in his New York City apartment, but not because he's skipping out on Sabbath-eve prayer services. Thacher, 32, is the founder of Kol haKfar, an independent Jewish community that, like a growing number of similar groups around the country, meets in the homes of community participants. Thacher says he started his group--which now has a Friday-eve attendance of about 25--because "having a meaningful, personal service just didn't seem possible in the harsh lighting and monotonous, institutional vibe of a synagogue."

Like Kol haKfar, many of the new communities thriving in cities across the...

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