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Welcome to the

Roosevelt Island jewish congregation

Our Temple in the Cultural Center

Over 40 years of prayers, services & more...

High Holiday Childrens Services

One of the many family friendly events


RIJC Holidays

Annual observances of festivals & holidays, including Tu B'Shevat &  more...

RIJC Events


Adult Learning!


Joel Shaiman, Rabbi.      Nina Lublin, President. 


We hope all is well with you, your families and friends.  Spring is here!!  There is much to look forward to with the RIJC!!  Hope you & your families & friends will be spending time with us over the next few weeks & months. 


 You are invited to join Rabbi Joel for upcoming Shabbat services June 2nd & June 16th, well as a special Adult Learning session on June 15th.  


And we hope to see you for a special Shavuot evening on Thursday May 25th — 

Please note special start times: 

**  6:00 pm — Children & families are invited to join Rabbi Joel for Pizza, Ice Cream, Torah stories, arts/craft activity and more ...


**  7:00 pm — All are invited to join Rabbi Joel for Torah readings & holiday discussion, along with a Dairy-infused Kiddush, followed by a Shavuot-themed text study and conversation ...

A Special Message for Shavuot from Rabbi Joel:

There is a debate among our Sages regarding the terms by which we accepted the Torah at Sinai.  One view states that we did so willingly, enthusiastically, sight-unseen.   Based upon a hyper-literal interpretation of the second half of Exodus 24:7, the people responded to Moses:  “We will (first) do and we will (then) hear [na’aseh ve-nishma] everything the Lord has said.”  That is, we commit to observe all of the commandments, even before we hear the details!

An alternative view argues that we were forced to accept the Torah almost at gunpoint, based upon a rather unusual interpretation of Exodus 19:7.  The verse states that the Israelites “took their places at the tachit (base/bottom) of the mountain”.   One rabbi understands that the mountain was lifted up in the air such that the people were under the mountain, and the Holy One said to them: “‘If you accept the Torah, it will be well with you, but if not, there will be your burial site.”

Whether willingly or under duress, our ancestors seemed to have made a split second decision at Sinai.   Fortunately, every year we have more time to consider the ramifications of accepting the Torah.  Our tradition gives us a full seven weeks – the Omer period beginning on Passover and ending on Shavuot.  During this time, we are meant to wrestle with the questions surrounding our commitments to others and to our own inner selves.  What from our tradition will we accept as authentically ours?  What will we comfortably discard?  How will we be affected by our decisions?

Please join us the Thursday evening, May 25th ...

Services begin at 6 pm or 7 pm for attendees as noted above.


 We are delighted to announce that Rabbi Laurie Gold will be joining us as our next spiritual leader, starting later this summer.  She looks forward to meeting and getting to know all the members, friends & families of the RIJC,  and we hope you will join us in welcoming her to the RIJC & Roosevelt Island.

Rabbi Gold received her rabbinic ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR).  Before becoming a rabbi, she worked as a trial lawyer, earning her J.D. from Hofstra University Law School, and earlier her B.A. in anthropology from the University of Michigan.    

Rabbi Gold has led congregations in Brewster NY and Danbury CT, served as the Rabbi for several nursing homes and cruise lines, and has a wide range of experience.  Rabbi Gold and her wife, Nancy, enjoy traveling and spending time at their local JCC, where they swim and attend lectures. and are also practitioners of meditation & yoga.  Rabbi Gold is non-judgmental, approachable and very down to earth.  


We look forward to your continued presence and participation, as well as being able to welcome you to the RIJC for the first time over the next few weeks and months.  

Looking Forward...      


Rabbi Joel

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