The History of Ma'ayanot
"הַמְשַׁלֵּחַ מַעְיָנִים בַּנְּחָלִים בֵּין הָרִים יְהַלֵּכוּן" - תהלים ק"ד י"
"He sends the springs into the valleys; they flow between the hills" - Psalms 104:10
Kehilat Ma'ayanot was the first traditional egalitarian minyan in Jerusalem. The congregation was founded in 1988 when the Beit HaMidrash L’limudei Yahadut of the Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel (presently the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies) encouraged the development of an egalitarian minyan in its facilities in the Greek Colony in southern Jerusalem. At the time, there were no similar congregations in Jerusalem, and Ma'ayanot was exceptional, even among Masorti congregations, in its commitment to egalitarian tefillot. The congregation’s name was taken from the inscription above the main entrance of the building in which it met.
Beginning with a small but dedicated group of worshipers who struggled each week to find a quorum for Shabbat services, the congregation soon become known for its lively tefillot, its highly participatory structure, the high quality of its Divrei Torah, and the seriousness of its commitment to both egalitarianism and halacha (Jewish law). The congregation began to attract people from a variety of backgrounds, both native born Israelis and immigrants, students and families.
From its earliest days, Ma'ayanot emphasized the centrality of group responsibility, a commitment which found expression in the organizational structure of the community and in the participatory nature of its services and Divrei Torah. Beginning in 1999, the congregation decided to employ a rabbi but has remained committed to its participatory model.
Today, we are approximately 70 families, made up of Ashkenazim and Sephardim; singles, families, and seniors; native Israelis and olim from North and South America, France, England, Italy, Argentina and Columbia, that meet for Shabbatot and hagim in the Arnona-Talpiot neighborhood in southern Jerusalem.