about Kolenu

Kehilat Kolenu was born in 2012 as a small informal group and since then has expanded to a vibrant community of more than 450 people across all ages and backgrounds. We've created a Kabbalat Shabbat service that we believe is one of the most meaningful, uplifting and musical celebrations offered in the community. We attract 60+ participants weekly. 

Our goal is to nurture an active Humanistic Jewish community in Melbourne by providing inclusive services for Kabbalat Shabbat and Chaggim.


Humanistic Judaism embraces a human-centred philosophy that combines rational thinking with a deep connection to the Jewish people and its culture. Humanistic Jews value their Jewish identity and the aspects of Judaism that offer a genuine expression of their contemporary way of life. Humanistic Jews celebrate the Chaggim and Jewish life cycle events with inspirational ceremonies that draw upon yet go beyond traditional symbols and liturgy. 


What do Humanistic Jews believe? 

  • Judaism is the historic culture of the Jewish people.
  • Jewish history is a human saga, a testament to the significance of human power and responsibility.
  • Jewish identity is best preserved in a free, pluralistic environment.
  • Ethics and morality should serve human needs.
  • The freedom and dignity of the Jewish people must go hand in hand with the freedom and dignity of every human being.
  • Each Jew has the right to create a meaningful Jewish lifestyle free from supernatural authority and imposed tradition. Humanistic philosophy affirms that knowledge and power come from people and from the natural world in which they live. Jewish continuity needs reconciliation between science, personal autonomy, and Jewish loyalty.
  • The secular roots of Jewish life are as important as the religious ones. Judaism is an ethnic culture. It was created by the Jewish people. It was molded by Jewish experience. Holidays are responses to human events. Ceremonies are celebrations of human development. Music and literature are inspired by human experience.

    Adapted from the Society for Humanistic Judaism