Congregation Shaare Tefilla was formed in 1986 with an initial membership of 50 founding families. The Congregation opened its doors on the first day of Chanukah 1986, when, in the words of its first Rabbi, Howard Wolk, the Congregation dedicated its building at 6131 Churchill Way "as a light unto our community." The Congregation has always maintained a modern Orthodox perspective welcoming Jews from all backgrounds as active members. Under the leadership of Rabbi Wolk, the Congregation quickly established itself as a leading advocate on behalf of important Jewish causes worldwide.
Shaare Tefilla building houses a vibrant Congregation clearly identifying itself with our brothers and sisters in the State of Israel. The Synagogue's members and leadership have always made themselves visible throughout the activities of the Dallas Jewish Federation, as active participants in (and leaders of!) Federation missions to Israel, as proponents of its Kashrut policy and as Federation Board Members or Super Sunday volunteers.
Through the tireless efforts of Rabbi and Rebbitzen Wolk and the Congregation, they spearheaded the building of an Eruv in 1987 (the first in Dallas) and the establishment of a modern Orthodox presence throughout the organized Dallas Jewish community. They pioneered a Torah-based mainstream Orthodox Jewish presence in Dallas, a legacy that has given rise to the continued growth of the Orthodox Jewish community in Dallas today.
Torah study is core value at Shaare Tefilla. The shul is committed to making the transformative power of Torah study accessible to each congregant. Shaare offers classes that span a wide range of interests and skill levels. Opportunities also abound for small group study and one-on-one chavrutot. In addition to their full participation in all shul classes (including daf yomi), Shaare offers special Torah study opportunities and programming for women. Regular educational programming is augmented by Scholars-in-Residence and guest speakers throughout the year.
Social ties are an important part of the Shaare Tefilla experience. From its inception to this very day, Shaare Tefilla prides itself on welcoming all visitors with home hospitality on Shabbat. A wonderful sense of community and friendship pervades the weekly Shabbat morning kiddush and approximately once a month there is Shabbat Lunch in shul for the entire congregation, at no charge. Congregation Shaare Tefilla certainly places a premium on Jewish tradition; at the same time strives to be a synagogue that is both welcoming and accessible to Jews from all backgrounds.
In July of 2003, Congregation Shaare Tefilla welcomed Rabbi Ari Perl as its new spiritual leader. Rabbi Perl- together with his wife, Meira, and three of their children (who now number five!)- came to Dallas from Kansas City, where he was the Rabbi of Congregation BIAV in Overland Park. Under Rabbi Perl's leadership, the Modern Orthodox community in Dallas has grown tremendously over the past decade, from a small shul of 73 families to a vibrant congregation of 200 families, most of whom have school-aged children.
If you live outside of Dallas and are considering relocating to our area, or if you live the Dallas area but haven't been to Shaare Tefilla in a while, we'd like to extend an invitation for you to join us on Shabbat. Experience the excitement for yourself; seeing is truly believing!
Contact the Shaare Tefilla office (972-6611-0127) or email@example.com for more information. Better yet, come spend a Shabbat with us and see for yourself why you belong at Shaare Tefilla!
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