Frequently Asked Questions

What is Reconstructionist Judaism?  

Reconstructionist Judaism is a progressive, dynamic approach to Jewish life that explores the Judaism of the past through a contemporary, intellectual and spiritual lens.  Many of the practices common in American Judaism today (bat mitzvah, girl baby-naming) were Reconstructionist innovations.

For Reconstructionists, Judaism is a civilization encompassing history, literature, art and music, land and language.  It reflects our ancestors’ search for meaning, purpose, and values.  In our own search, we are egalitarian, participatory, and open to varying views.

We are respectful of traditional Jewish practice but also open to new interpretation and forms of Jewish religious expression.  We believe that tradition has a voice but not a veto.

As Reconstructionist Jews, we live in two civilizations:  the Jewish and the American.  We believe that Judaism strengthens, and takes strength from, the democratic heritage of America by applying democratic principles to Jewish life.

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When are services held?

Services are held every Friday night at 8:00 p.m. During the school year, we hold a monthly hour-long Family Service that begins at 7:30 p.m. 

Shabbat morning services when there is a bar or bat mitzvah begin at 9:45 a.m. B'yahad (family participation) on Saturday mornings are once a month, with an adult Torah study at 9:00 a.m. and family services from 10:15-11:00 a.m., followed by a light kiddush lunch. See our monthly calendar for exact dates and times.

 

What are the goals for our Synagogue School?

 

It is our goal to help you raise your children with a deep appreciation, understanding, and excitement for Jewish life in its various manifestations–religious, cultural, spiritual and communal. We strive to create a climate of acceptance and security, where all questions are honored and each child is appreciated within our caring community. We seek to create within our school that which we look for throughout the congregation–a caring community. We hope to provide each child with the tools to lead full Jewish lives.

Children are taught to love and honor the language of our tradition as they learn the alef-bet. Through song, prayer and stories they deepen their knowledge of Hebrew. In addition to basic vocabulary, children learn both the Friday night and Shabbat morning liturgies, trope, as well as selected holiday prayers.

 

When does the Synagogue School meet?

Kindergarten & first grade – Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m. (Non-members are welcome to enroll).

2nd  - 6th grade (bet-vav) – Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m.

Tuesday/Shabbat option involving family participation available for 2nd - 6th grade.

7th  grade (kadima) – Tuesday, 6:30-8:00 p.m., including once a month with parents.

8th -12th grade currently meet about once a month with various programs TBD.

For more information, email Rabbi Jodie Siff (rabjodie@optonline.net) or call her at 516-627-6274.

 

How can I get information about the  Nursery School? 

Please email our Nursery School Director, Laura Reich (ganshalom@optonline.net) or call her at 516-627-0257.

 

What Adult Studies opportunities exist at the synagogue?  

Adult learning is a vital part of our congregation. A Shabbat study group meets twice a month from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. A Bible study group meets on alternate Thursday evenings. In addition, we host a Men’s Group, Rosh Hodesh (women’s) Group, Study Dinners with the Cantor, special fall and spring seminars, and a Yiddish Circle.

 

How can I get involved?  

Our synagogue is an active, exciting community of dedicated participants. In addition to participation in educational and religious programs, there are many committees and events that depend on talented, committed people. These include: Fundraising, Education, Mutual Support, Ritual, Program, Social Action, Finance, Membership and Publicity committees and the Purim Carnival, Mitzvah Day and Retreat .

 

How can I get more information?  

General information? Please email Sylvia Jacobs (sylvrsns@optonline.net) or call her at 516-627-6274.

More information about the Synagogue School? Please email Rabbi Jodie Siff (rabjodie@optonline.net) or call her at 516-627-6274.

More information on Reconstructionism? Please email Rabbi Lee Friedlander (rabbilee@optonline.net) or call him at 516-627-6274.