Shir Tikvah’s History

Shir Tikvah Building

Shir Tikvah’s current building in Minneapolis

Since that time, Shir Tikvah has grown to be a congregation of over 400 families.9 After twenty years, Rabbi Offner left Shir Tikvah to take a position as one of the Vice Presidents at the Union for Reform Judaism in N.Y., serving as the first out lesbian at that level of leadership in the movement. Her position as Vice President didn’t last long, however, as she became a congregational rabbi once again at Temple Beth Tikvah in Connecticut.10 As a result, the congregation has since been dealing with the process of losing a founding rabbi and adapting to new people of leadership and a new hierarchy. Once Rabbi Offner left, there was a need for a rabbinical search, which had never taken place before due to the fact that Offner had been hired just a few minutes after the congregation was founded. During the search for the new Rabbi, Shir Tikvah had an interim Rabbi, Sharon Steefel, for a year. Rabbi Steefel was the rabbi at the Hillel at the University of Minnesota for thirteen years and was thinking about becoming a congregational rabbi. Nevertheless, it was understood that when she was hired it would be under a one-year contract. Following Rabbi Steefel, Rabbi Latz was hired, who continues to be the Rabbi of Shir Tikvah today. The change in Rabbis lead to other position changes as well, such as David Harris, Shir Tikvah’s music director leaving and Wendy Kahn coming in, as well as the position of Director of Lifelong Learning. Other changes have taken place as well, including changes in music and changes in various programs.11 While some of the original congregation is gone and much has changed, many the values present in the founding of Shir Tikvah play an integral part of the community’s life and who the community wants to be.

  1. John Humleker, interview by author, 10 15, 2013

  1. “Offner, Stacy.” Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2007.

  1. Cookie Montgomery, interview by author, 11 1, 2013