Mission, Vision & Values

Bolton Street Synagogue, a member of the Union for Reform Judaism, is an inclusive home for the diverse Baltimore community. Led by Rabbi Andy Gordon, we are known for our openness to inquiry and debate, culture of Jewish experimentation, commitment to social justice in the city of Baltimore, and uncommon warmth.

Bolton Street Synagogue was founded in 1986 in the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. Outgrowing our old home, we moved into a beautiful new location in the Roland Park neighborhood of Baltimore City. The new building was dedicated on Sunday, December 7, 2003.

As a reminder of where we came from and as a symbol of our past history, a stained glass window from our old synagogue building illuminates our lobby. The window was designed by Walter Schwarz, one of our founding members, who lived through Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938. Following this tragedy, Mr. Schwarz vowed that if he should escape Nazi Germany, he would learn to create and build with glass so he could help to rebuild Jewish life. The star in the window serves as a memorial to the Six Million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Surrounding the star, the olive branches represent the enduring vitality of Judaism and the Jewish people.

Our Mission Statement

To be an inclusive Jewish home for the diverse Baltimore community engaging in spirituality, friendship, learning, and social justice.

Our Vision Statement

Bolton Street Synagogue, a Reform congregation, will be a place of belonging known for its dynamic celebration of spirituality, justice, learning, and engagement with the greater community.

Guiding Values

Inclusiveness – We embrace the dignity of all people. Bolton Street Synagogue is an accessible, welcoming community where audacious hospitality is a fundamental practice.

L’dor V’dor – We stand for learning and the principle of l’dor v’dor, the passing of Jewish values, wisdom, and traditions from generation to generation. We are committed to robust Jewish education for our children and teens; adult learning through interactive study of Torah and Jewish history, custom, and practice; family events imbued with song and customs; and fostering meaningful ties with Israel and the Jewish people worldwide.

Spirituality – We celebrate spirituality, Jewish tradition, and Jewish life through Shabbat and holiday services rich in song and prayer. We encourage thoughtful exploration of the significance and expression of spirituality within the broad framework of Jewish tradition.

Tikkun Olam – We are deeply committed to the repair of the world through everyday acts, participation in interfaith and community programs, and dedicated advocacy that furthers the cause of justice.