Established almost 100 years ago by Levantine Jews from western Turkey, SBH has maintained a proud and distinct set of minhagim, cultural standards and meaningful values that reflect the joyous and lively approach to living a life that is distinctively and deeply Jewish and yet still accepting and connected to the world around us.
Like many Sephardic congregations in North America, the member community of SBH is religiously diverse – made up of families who are shomer mitzvoth, kashrut and Shabbat; families who are “traditional” but not fully observant; families who have more of a cultural affiliation; identify as Jewish and participate in annual Jewish rituals and milestones (Passover, Hannukah, etc.); and families who are on the periphery of the Jewish community. The one thread that ties all of these families together is that when they choose to attend religious services, they will attend them at SBH. Accordingly, SBH is an inclusive congregation, one that does not close its parking lot on Shabbat and Yom Tov, one that does not create fissures within its own community, but one that seeks opportunities to bring the members of its community together.
Sephardic Bikur Holim maintains deep connection to our heritage manifested ritually through hazzanut, the knowledge and practice of its liturgy, which is unique even among Sephardic congregations. Culturally SBH is connected through language (Ladino), its foods, its love of family and its deep respect for the idea of tradition itself.
As the congregation reaches its centennial, SBH is primed for new leadership – one that ensures its sustainability and its mission and one that creates meaningful Jewish experiences and opportunities for its diverse Jewish community.