Who we are
CBS organized in 1972 with just a few local families, establishing congregational roots for a Jewish population that was growing very steadily in western DuPage County. It wasn't long before we became a focal point for religious and social activities for Jews in many of Chicago's outlying suburbs. By the early 1980's we had outgrown our temporary quarters. In April 1985, having purchased our own building, we transplanted ourselves, a happy proud procession taking turns carrying our sacred scrolls into our new sanctuary. Within 10 years it was clear that we had outgrown our building. We broke ground on Naperville's first building dedicated as a synagogue in August of 1997, and carried our scrolls proudly to our new home 12 months later.
Beth Shalom is, above all else, a community, one in which Jewish ideals, education, identity and purpose are nurtured in an environment of friendship and caring.
Our vision is to be a caring community of people who share a commitment to make Judaism meaningful in today's world and who create and share the Jewish experience in the western suburbs. We provide the leadership, resources, and facilities necessary to fulfill the principles of Judaism as a way of life.
The most important resource we have is each individual and family that seeks to meet their educational, religious, social and life cycle needs by actively participating in our community. Merging ancient Jewish traditions with modern thinking requires each of us to discover our own ways of participating in the congregation.
We value heimishness. We seek to be:
- A place of warmth, purpose, vitality and joy
- A place to find friendship, belonging, and goodwill
- A place of mutual respect, sharing, and teamwork
- An egalitarian place of democracy
- A place where everyone feels welcome, regardless of financial circumstances, and is expected to participate at their level of comfort
We value our heritage and beliefs. We seek to be:
- A place that encourages the observance of the life cycle, the times and holidays of the year, and Shabbat to enrich the Jewish life
- A place to preserve, develop, and transmit traditions
- A place to connect to G-d
- A place to make Judaism meaningful in our lives
We value menschlichkeit. We seek to be:
- A place to practice and teach mitzvot and tzedakah, to develop a community that takes tzedakah seriously
- A place to practice and teach the Jewish moral and ethical framework
- A place where the core of Jewish life is strengthened
We value community. We seek to be:
- A place of participation and programming for all segments of the Jewish community
- A resource for the secular community, and a Jewish voice in the secular community
- An inviting, attractive, accessible place to build a Jewish future for ourselves, our children, and the community at large
- A Jewish community center for the western suburbs
How do we put our values into practice?
As you can see throughout this Website, we embody these values in our worship, in our educational programs, and in a wide variety of social organizations and programs. We are always looking for more ideas, programs, and involvement.