We are a unique congregation in South Florida committed to building a spiritual home for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jewish community and our partners.
At CEC you will find a love for the Jewish people, rituals and traditions we have come to know, a passion for Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam (charity and repairing the world), and a devotion to prayer and study.
We are a community and a place to celebrate life together, both the happy and challenging. From an Oneg honoring the at long last marriage of a long term gay couple, to saying Kaddish (the memorial prayer) for a beloved parent with your partner standing by your side, CEC is a place of comfort and freedom. You may even meet your Bashert over the lox platter. We invite you to become a member of our family. We welcome your enthusiasm and your commitment. Together we can create a true home for ‘Jews of the Rainbow’ in South Florida.
Where We Started
The Congregation was formed in 1974 by seven Gay Jews who had been attending services at the MCC Church in Miami. At the time the MCC was the only place in South Florida where a Gay person could worship in openness. Among the seven founders was Howie Sorkin who has continued to be a pillar of the Congregation. The original seven reached out to others and there was a minyan formed for the services that were at first held at members’ homes. There was no Rabbi, Cantor, Office nor even a Torah.
There was warmth, love and the desire to pray as Jews regardless of sexual orientation. Soon the homes proved too small for the growing Congregation and there was movement to larger spaces. Services were held at a Lutheran Church, at a YMCA, an Art Studio, a Storefront, a chapel in a Funeral Home, at the Unitarian Sanctuary in Oakland Park / Fort Lauderdale. After seven years at our own home in Wilton Manors, we now hold services in our space at Temple Beth Torah in Tamarac.
5700 Northwest 94th Avenue Tamarac, Florida 33321
Phone: 954-564-9232 Office E-Mail: Info@EtzChaimFlorida.org
Our online presence continues to evolve. Check back here periodically for updates on all that’s happening at the Synagogue and the community at large. You can also follow us on our Facebook page, CongregationEtzChaim, for the latest news and photos. We are your Gay Jewish resource in South Florida.