The First 25 Years

1988Antoinette and Stuart Matlins organize first Shabbat potluck dinner
1989Monthly newsletter established
First Community Seder
First Sukkah building
First Chanukah celebration – held at North Chapel Universalist Society parlors

WAJC Tzedakah Fund established

1992First Rosh Hashanah service and community potluck at Masonic Hall
First Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur Services
First Yom Kippur Walk up Mount Tom
First Brit Milah — Evan Haupt
1993Hebrew School meets at Matlin’s Guest House. Later moves to Jewish Lights Publishing, then the Thompson Center and eventually to the Martin Farm House which becomes Congregation Shir Shalom
1994WAJC Board forms, first By-laws written, Woodstock Area Jewish Community incorporates as a 501(c)3 religious organization
1995Torah Ark commissioned and built
First Bar Mitzvah — Sam McWilliams
1997First Torah acquired, celebration held on lawn of Woodstock Historical Society
Officially joins the Union of American Hebrew Congregations
1998Acquires Martin Farm House and Barn; dedicated as Congregation Shir Shalom on September 13
1999First Student Rabbi – Darcie DuBois Crystal
First Bat Mitzvah – Tess Kahn

Yachad teen group organized

2003New sanctuary built — construction supervisors: Bob Steinberg, Marty Post, Jeffrey Kahn
Dedicate the Jane Fishman Grinberg Sanctuary and Abbott Roberts Reception Area
First wedding in new sanctuary – Spike and Marita (Gringaus) Anderson

Purchases adjoining property; now Rabbi’s house


Engages first ordained Rabbi—Michal Woll

2007Hebrew School enrollment reaches 50 students under Director Peggy Kasden

Engages Rabbi Dov Taylor as first full-time Rabbi


Engages Rabbi Ilene Haigh as Rabbi

2013First Scholar-in-Residence – Dr. Norman Cohen
July 13: Celebrates 25 vibrant years as a warm and welcoming Jewish community in rural, central Vermont