About Etz Chaim

The Mission of Congregation Etz Chaim

Congregation Etz Chaim is an inclusive synagogue, committed to the opportunities, challenges, and diversity of the Jewish Community of Portland and all of Southern Maine.  The Congregation is committed to maintaining its historic roots in traditional Jewish practice, conducting many of its services in Hebrew as it has for more than a century.  The congregation also offers services in the liberal Jewish spirit, substantially in English, as a welcoming and inclusive worship experience for many of our members.  We offer a special welcome to interfaith, multi-cultural, and non-traditional individuals and families who are seeking an experience of Judaism’s spiritual ideals and traditions, regardless of religious background.

Together we seek to be a “tree of life,” by creating a community of worship, learning, and service, grounded in the timeless Jewish vision of a “house of prayer for all people,” and responding to the mandate of our Hebrew Prophets to work for justice and peace in our community and the world.


Photo of Rabbi Gary S. Berenson

Gary S. Berenson


Mark Aranson, President

Marshall Tinkle, Immediate Past President, 

Allison Brown, Vice President

David Glaser, Treasurer

Susan Isenman, Secretary

Board Members

Steven Brinn

Ted Fleischaker

David Hirshon

Peter Litman

Addis Mason

Jeffrey Schwartz

David Turesky

Elizabeth Weyl

Dr. Sue Erber (Emeritus)

Mel Fineberg (OBM)

Susan Gilbert-Hirshon (Emeritus)