Congregation Ahavath Chesed – The Temple is the center of Reform Judaism here in Northeast Florida. Chartered in 1882, our congregation is firmly rooted in tradition yet focuses clearly on the present and future of Judaism. We value active participation in Jewish life. True to our name, we are “lovers of mercy” (Ahavath Chesed) and work collectively to help make the world a better place through acts of compassion and loving kindness – starting right here in the Jacksonville community.
As Reform Jews, we are committed to the principle of inclusion. Everyone is welcome to participate regardless of age, ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation or financial means. We extend a special invitation to interfaith families who seek to share in the values and practice of Judaism.
Learn more about our specific programs and events by attending a service, participating in a program, or reading more here on our website. We want you to feel welcome in the midst of our diverse religious, educational and social activities.
We invite you to become a part of our Temple family. Shalom!
TEMPLE BY THE NUMBERS
- 130+ YEARS Formally chartered in 1882, our congregation is the oldest house of worship in Jacksonville and second oldest synagogue in Florida. Through our strong archival program we collect a wide range of media, including books, manuscript materials, photographs, audiotape, videotape and three-dimensional and multimedia materials as they relate to our history, present and future. Through its activities, the Archives serve as a bridge from our Jewish past to our Jewish future. The Historical Society of Jacksonville and others use our Archives as their primary source for the Jewish history of the First Coast.
- 700+ FAMILIES We draw membership from all over North Florida including a majority of members who reside in the Mandarin / Southside communities of Jacksonville.
- 500+ STUDENTS Each week during the school year more than 300 students attend classes ranging from basic Hebrew and Torah lessons all the way to Israeli cooking and cultural classes. Annually more than 200 adults participate in our Lifelong Learning programs that run year round.
- 18,000+ BOOKS We are proud to house the Wurn Family Library - the largest synagogue library in the Southeast - where we happily offer reading enjoyment and information for everyone.
- COUNTLESS HOURS “Kindness” is the most common and simplest English translation of “chesed” – and we the members of Congregation Ahavath Chesed share kindness in many different ways every day of the year. Whether through our ongoing development of the Community Gardens, Caring Congregation initiatives, blood drives, Holiday Shopping Spree for area foster children and more, our members share their time and talents throughout the community to benefit those in need. A recent example is our “Chesed Town” day of community service during which over 100 Temple volunteers fanned out across Jacksonville to work on projects at 6 different locations including the Sulzbacher Center, community parks, the University of North Florida and others.