Special Offer from the YJCC for Temple Israel Members
Temple Israel has been participating in the Kehillah Partnership, an innovative, community-wide effort to build a stronger and more engaged Jewish community across institutional and denominational lines. Now we have been chosen as a pilot synagogue for the next phase of the project. All Temple Israel members may join the Bergen County YJCC in the Township of Washington for an annual fee (September through August) of $360 per unit (individual, couple, or family).
Click HERE for more information about the YJCC special offer
Shalom. I am thrilled to welcome you to Temple Israel and Jewish Community Center – “the shul that never sleeps,” as we like to call it. Our community is welcoming and haimish, nurturing each person’s personal Jewish journey through prayer, social gatherings, community service, and learning. With a deep care for and engagement from all of our members, from our newborns to young families to empty nesters and esteemed seniors, Temple Israel is our home away from home. Allow me to tell you more.
Our synagogue was founded in a little house on Oak Street in Ridgewood in 1952, in a neighborhood of 17 churches. Today, Temple Israel and Jewish Community Center has grown into a vibrant congregation housed in a spacious, elegant, and modern facility. We have earned the respect and appreciation of our neighbors, thanks to our educational and musical programs and our missions of out-reach and tikkun olam (repairing the world). Some of our tikun olam activities include feeding the homeless in Bergen County quarterly, helping to keep our local food pantry stocked, running a community blood drive three times a year, and cleaning our local rivers and wildscapes in the fall.
Our traditional Conservative, egalitarian services are just the right size to enjoy an intimate haimish atmosphere that is energized by our congregants. We are blessed by Rabbi David Fine’s wisdom, brilliance, and warmth and Cantor Caitlin Bromberg’s lyrical, soulful voice and engaging presence on and off the bimah. Adults and children regularly ascend the bimah to daven prayers and leyn Torah. Children can also choose one of the several age-appropriate programs and services held each Shabbat. Our Junior congregation meets regularly to a standing room only crowd and they love to participate in every way.
Under the guidance of our Associate Rabbi, Sharon Litwin, the Northern New Jersey Jewish Academy (NNJJA) serves close to a hundred students from Temple Israel and our educational consortium partner, Temple Beth Sholom on Fair Lawn. Our nurturing Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade program meets once a week. Our outstanding religious school program takes place 2 days per week for our 3rd – 7th graders. Sunday programming includes a special student led service, cultural activities including Israeli dance, cooking, art and music as well as Hebrew and Judaica. Our families celebrate their children’s magnificent B’nai Mitzvah with the love and support of our beaming community. Most of our students continue their studies at the Bergen County High School of Jewish Studies or the Prozdor of the Jewish Theological Seminary. At the beginning of the educational career we offer a monthly Pre-K program for 3 - 4 year olds.
This year our adult Sunday education classes will address the history of Israel culminating in an exciting trip to Israel next summer. Last year’s class of 100 regulars studied Jewish roots in Germany from the Middle Ages to the present and a multigenerational group of 37 traveled to Germany to see the places we had studied. Our congregation includes many professional musicians who lovingly share their talents with us at summer concerts, open mics and other special events.
Social highlights include a progressive dinner, Shabbat dinners, family ski trips, sporting and cultural outings, a winning softball team in the Ridgewood area church league, an active senior citizens group, youth groups, Lag Bomer barbeque complete with our own garage band, and a Purim Carnival where the adults’ costumes rival those of the children.
As I hope you’ll see, Temple Israel and Jewish Community Center is a big tent with a variety of doorways sure to engage you no matter what your passion. What are you looking for in terms of a Jewish home for you and your family? I would love to chat and listen to your thoughts and ideas.
Johanna Rosen Membership Chairperson