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Reform Synagogues in Manhattan

Updated on November 28, 2016

Welcome to New York!

Although there is no question that synagogues need your support, I have never been a member of a Reform Synagogue that didn't adjust dues for members who couldn't afford to pay the full amount.

If you haven't thought about high holiday tickets . . . you're running behind. Contact one of these synagogues and find a place to go if you are planning on going.

Reform Synagogues on the East Side

Currently, I am listing the street address and a short paragraph from the website for every synagogue listed. I am also including anything that resembles a tagline, because I think that is an important part of the formula in how a community feels about itself.

The vast majority of the Reform synagogues in Manhattan are on the East Side. The UWS has a lot of Conservative synagogues (FYI).

Books on Judaism

The first two books actually give an overview of Judaism as a whole, not just of Reform Judaism. On the Doorposts is full of prayers and ceremonies you can do at home. I own all of these books.

Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History
Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History

This isn't technically a coffee table book, but that's where I kept it until I loaned it out to someone I went to school with and never saw it again. Blake, if you're reading this, I already have a new copy, so you should buy me something else.

 
Every Person's Guide to Judaism
Every Person's Guide to Judaism

In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that I am related to one of the authors. Nonetheless, this is the book that the Union uses for it's Introduction to Judaism classes nationwide, so I am not steering you in the wrong direction. And if you want it autographed, I could probably arrange it.

 

Location of Reform Congregations - in New York

show route and directions
A markerThe Village Temple -
22 East 12th Street, New York, NY
get directions

B markerEast End Temple -
245 East 17th Street, New York, NY
get directions

C markerCentral Synagogue -
652 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
get directions

D markerTemple Emanu-El of the City of New York -
1 East 65th St, New York, NY
get directions

E markerTemple Israel of the City of New York -
112 East 75th Street, New York, NY
get directions

F markerTemple Shaarey Tefila -
250 East 79th Street, New York, NY
get directions

G markerStephen Wise Free Synagogue -
30 West 68th Street, New York, NY
get directions

H markerCongregation Rodolph Sholom -
7 West 83rd Street, New York, NY
get directions

I markerThe Temple of Universal Judaism -
1010 Park Avenue at 85th Street, New York, NY
get directions

J markerHebrew Tabernacle Congregation -
551 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY
get directions

K markerMetropolitan Synagogue -
20 East 35th Street, New York, NY
get directions

My First Synagogue in New York

Central Synagogue
Central Synagogue

High Holiday Ticket Controversy

Many people complain about having to join a synagogue or pay for High Holiday tickets if they want to go to services on Rosh HaShannah or Yom Kippor - they view the temples as money-grubbing that take advantage of the one time of year that everyone feels compelled to go to services (which makes sense since unlike churches, there is no passing of the plate at all other services).

At the same time, everyone wants a Rabbi to be immediately available if a crisis comes up and don't stop to think that if Rabbis aren't paid for every day duties that no one thinks about (counseling for teens who need a trusted adult to talk to, services every week of the year, making sick calls, speaking up in the community when something antisemitic happens, etc.), they won't be around when you especially need them.

Most synagogues will let you pay reduced fees if you cannot afford to be a member and most synagogues will let college students in for free or for very reduced rates.

What do you think?

Should High Holiday Tickets Be Free? If not, why not? If so, how do you propose synagogues stay in business?

Yes

Yes

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    • anonymous 3 years ago

      yes

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      NEVER charge for services on Yom Kippur - never!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      yes

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      yes

    No

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      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I like the idea of it being donation-based pricing. I think I'd like to see everyone find what they can in their budgets to support the existence of synagogues so that there are places to go for services. If you can afford $150 or $100 or even $10 or $5, each person should make the donation they can afford. I would also like to see synagogues make exceptions in some cases and comp tickets for those they deem worthy. It's tough to recognize, but synagogues have expenses too, and it is every Jew's responsibility to support the existence of places where Jews can gather and learn and pray and support each other, even if that is just $5. I like this better than thinking of it as a "ticket price", which sounds so commercial.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        People should at least donate $5.00 to offset the costs of the program, such as rental of a larger building for some congregations or the cost for flyers, programs and increase the income to support the budget of the synagogue. Also being honest to God that this is an important part of their religious life and not a 'must.'

      • Jennifer Einstein 6 years ago from New York City

        High Holiday Tix should be free for those who cannot afford to pay, which is pretty much what they are now. They shouldn't be free for those who cannot afford to pay because their three trips abroad last year drained their budgets.

      Shabbat Music - From a Reform Rabbi

      Soul's Delight
      Soul's Delight

      Okay, full disclosure, the lead singer here is my sister, but I can verify that she has been a stellar singer pretty much since she was born. Here are my favorite songs from her latest album, which she did with The Shabbatones. It is part of their Got Shabbat? program that they started at her synagogue in California.

       

      Not In Manhattan, but Still...

      Now that I've moved to Astoria, there aren't nearly as many choices as where to go for services. I will add to this as I find places.

      Other Reform Links - Reform Judaism, that is

      From cradle to grave, Reform Judaism has you covered. Here are just some of the links you might be interested in.

      My Second Temple in New York - but it was Conservative, so it isn't listed on this page

      Shaare Zedek
      Shaare Zedek

      Other Jewish Books on my Bookshelf

      How to Get More out of Being Jewish Even If:: A. You Are Not Sure You Believe in God, B. You Think Going to Synagogue Is a Waste of Time, C. You Think ... Hated Hebrew School, or E. All of the Above!
      How to Get More out of Being Jewish Even If:: A. You Are Not Sure You Believe in God, B. You Think Going to Synagogue Is a Waste of Time, C. You Think ... Hated Hebrew School, or E. All of the Above!

      With chapters like "There's no Spirituality for Me in Synagogues and Prayer" and "Hebrew School was Worthless and Boring," this book uses a very easy-to-read format to bring some powerful ideas to the table for people who wish they felt more Jewish.

       
      Finding God: Selected Responses
      Finding God: Selected Responses

      From biblical times to Buber and beyond, this book consists of 17 different essays on different ways of thinking about a God. There is a handy appendix at the end with a great chart with the "short answers" to ten basic God-related questions from each time period (e.g., What God Wants and The Nature of Evil).

       

      I Want to Know More - What IS Reform Judaism, Anyway?

      The teacher of my Introduction to Judaism class said that whatever questions we had about Judaism could be answered by saying, "It depends."

      What is Reform Judaism? It depends. And whatever anyone tells you, it can always be followed by, "But wait; there's more!"

      _

      My Third Synagogue in New York

      Some Jewish Music

      Oseh Shalom
      Oseh Shalom

      Debbie Friedman is an easy go-to source for Reform Jewish music you have probably heard before.

       

      Anything else you'd like to see?

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        • Jennifer Einstein profile image
          Author

          Jennifer Einstein 4 years ago from New York City

          @Gypzeerose: Glad you enjoyed it.

        • Gypzeerose profile image

          Rose Jones 4 years ago

          Interesting and personal lens, and very informative. Pinned to my spirituality and religion board.

        • profile image

          AlexBPearl 4 years ago

          Interesting and useful lens. AP

        • Jennifer Einstein profile image
          Author

          Jennifer Einstein 6 years ago from New York City

          @Bill Armstrong: Thanks; glad you enjoyed it.

        • Bill Armstrong profile image

          Bill Armstrong 6 years ago from Valencia, California

          Nice lens, another thumbs up :-)

        • GuyB LM profile image

          GuyB LM 6 years ago

          I'm not Jew, but my wife is and she introduced to me to that book Finding God and it was fantastic. I also enjoy Curb Your Enthusiasm

        • jodijoyous profile image

          jodijoyous 6 years ago from New York

          Not sure if it's still in print (the Internet may have killed it), but the First (and Second) Jewish Catalog was an excellent resource for background on rituals, recipes, where to find a rabbi in Kansas, and lots of other information. Sort of a "Whole Earth Catalog" for Jewish people.

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          anonymous 7 years ago

          "The Yidishkeyt Tales: Moishe's Story:"

          This book is a children's picture book that brings to life the Jewish immigrant experience. Each page contains a few Yiddish words mixed in with English to form fun rhymes that children are sure to love. The glossary in the back of the book further helps children to learn Yiddish words and to pronounce them as well. To my knowledge, there are no other books on the market quite like this one.

          "The Yidishkeyt Tales: Moishe's Story," written by Erin Verkhovsky Finelli, is currently available to browse and purchase at the following link:

          http://www.amazon.com/Yidishkeyt-Tales-Moishes-Sto...

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          anonymous 8 years ago

          Does somebody knows a Greeter organization (or solo) wich could show us (we're 2 adults and 2 teens) the jewish part of Manhattan? (we'll arrive next week on wednesday and leave on sunday)

          We're coming from Brussels, Belgium. Speaking French but able to understand a tour in English. I saw on the web Big Onion Tours of Jewish East Side but if somebody from the Jewish Community is interested to meet a jewish belgian family, it would be wonderful for us.

          Here is my email if it helps : francoise@philou.com

          Thanks!

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          anonymous 8 years ago

          Thank you! We'll be in NY for next Shabbat from Belgium and it helps really!

        • profile image

          anonymous 8 years ago

          Hi, Great Lens!

          I was wondering if you could add my client who is a reform synagogue in Manhattan. The Shul of New York. www.theshulofnewyork.org. Thank you very much for your consideration.

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          MarciB 9 years ago

          What a great resource! Thanks for putting something like this together.

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          ideadesigns 9 years ago

          Information on this lens is clear thanks.

        • marlene3 profile image

          marlene3 9 years ago

          Your lens was very informative, clear, and easy to navigate. Keep up the good work, stay encourage and much success to you. Thanks 5 stars!

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          anonymous 9 years ago

          Could you please add Metropolitan Synagogue to your list? We welcome interfaith, multiracial, non-traditional and traditional families. Our website is www.metropolitansynagogue.org and we're located in the Murray Hill neighborhood. Thanks!