Also, my husband is not Jewish and wants to come, so I need a place that will not be hostile to our family.
Also, my husband is not Jewish and wants to come, so I need a place that will not be hostile to our family.
As a non-practicing Catholic, I dont know very much about this subject, but I did find a threat on Yahoo Answers from a couple of years ago. I dont know if this is helpful or not:
go to http://www.chabad.org there is a section find a center near you. Put in your Zip code and you will find a Chabad center near you. It wont cost you a thing, dont feel threatened.
I remember reading about low cost services here. Would welcome your husband with open arms --based on what the website says. There are a few Reform Temples in FH--but services may be pricey.
Anything related to Chabad is likely not going to be friendly to interfaith families. Chabad is religous. There are some in Manhattan- try googling.
In Santa Fe where my Mom lives just about everyone at Chabad is interfaith except the Rabbi and his wife. Pretty funny.
Wow? Really? I went to a Chabad service in college once since it was the only one on campus. This was a SUNY school with a huge Jewish population. I was offended by the fact that the seating was divided men/women and the service was being performed for the men- the women could just listen. I know that's the orthodox way but it's not my thing.
Chabad is very big on outreach to Jews. While they wouldn't approve of interfaith marriage, they wouldn't reject any Jew because of that.
If you're just either walking in or buying tickets for the holiday, as opposed to joining, they most likely will not ask your spouse's religion. Where it might get sticky is when you join a temple and/or want your spouse to participate in a service, say, for example at a family bar/bat mitzvah. My brother's wife is not Jewish. When his kids from his first marriage were bat mitzvahed, my sister-in-law could not participate in the service--she could not go up on the bimah. They decided to send their son to Hebrew school and decided to join a Reform temple, even though we were raised in a Conservative congregation, as the Reform temple will let my sister-in-law participate in services.
I was at a bridal shower today and my cousin's wife mentioned that they "quit" their temple, as they don't like the new rabbi and are just not feeling comfortable there anymore, despite having been members there for probably 20 years or maybe more and making efforts to become somewhat involved. They decided that if they didn't feel comfortable there, it wasn't worth what they were paying--$3,700.00 a year! Yikes. I'm sure the price tag has to do with the temple's location on the upper east side, but still...
Don't underestimate the worth of the Temple on the UES. A friend grew up on Park Avenue and her husband came from Rego Park---graduated from Queens College. They are bigwigs at a temple on the UES. Congregants out of "Our Crowd". The connections he made helped build his Wall Street Career. He is a very hard worker but these people were the introduction to wealth. They have a home in the Hamptons, a coop on Park Avenue, their two daughters go to private (very expensive) schools. His wife stopped working when they adopted the girls and spends her time on charities, etc with the ladies who lunch crowd
Jewels, I was wracking my brain over the weekend trying to remember the name of the book you sited here - "Our Crowd". A cousin was over for the holidays who lives on the UES, and he had us cracking up with stories just like the one you just told. Especially the one about how the 5th Ave Synagogue was introduced to Madoff.
I'm pretty aware of the value of these place in terms of social or business connections, but it's not always the case. It so happens that my cousin, son of a Bronx retailer, with no Park Avenue connections, was on the fast track to major money in one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, the kids did pre-k at the 92nd Street Y and both had already started attending Dalton before they joined the temple. I believe they may already have had their apartment on East End Avenue, but may not yet then have bought the apartment next door. Their place in the Hamptons is only a rental, but it's a year-round rental. Then there are the really great seasons tix at Yankee Stadium and the fact that my cousin was able to semi retire probably before he turned 55 and is therefore able to get to at least 45-50 home games a year.
It's just a shame that a house of worship, that is supposed to be warm and inviting, has managed to alienate some longtime members who are really great people.
Eric, I'm not concerned about myself being rejected, but I am concerned about whether my husband will feel unwelcome. I'm not talking about the service being in Hebrew or men being separated from women (though we prefer egalitarian) or whether he'd be counted for a minyan or called to the Torah (we know he wouldn't be), but about the way people in the congregation may react to or treat him, interpersonally. I know Chabad says they accept all Jews, even those who are intermarried, but I'm not finding anything addressing whether they accept having a non-Jewish family member at shabbat or holiday services or community activities. If my husband is willing to raise his kids as Jewish even though he's not...I don't want him excluded or alienated from our family's participation in these things, even though there may be limitations on how he can join in.
I get the impression that Chabad really varies depending on the local population. Where there aren't a lot of (observant) Jews, I think it does tend to be more open (though still traditional), but where there are a lot of Orthodox Jews, it's just hard to know. Should I contact the rabbi and feel it out?
I was raised Conservative, but all around here require tickets for high holidays and they are pricey.
Pay to pray. In the final analysis, religion is a business. God should turn the other cheek and accept love, not only cash.
this is in manhattan, but there is an open door policy.
it is the community shul of lgtbq community with lots of moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas and siblings and kids who are heterosexual joining congregation. over 3300 people there usually for yom kippur
it is an open door policy which is basically you come, take an envelope. pray and send in the donation you are able to afford asap or when you can afford to do so. rabbi sharon kleinbaum is an incredible rabbi/orator who gives a drash that you think about and remember years later.
anyone who can pre-register is welcome and i do not believe they turn people away. some who do have tickets are no shows and they do what they can to make space for people. you may have to stand, but it is a welcoming community.
best to you.
I've been to Ohel Ayalah's services for Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Kol Nidre in Manhattan - and this year they have services in LIC as well. It's a very welcoming group that offer services in English and Hebrew (with English translations); I have always felt comfortable there. Services are free, but you generally have to pre-register (though there are a certain number of walk-in spots available).
SJF, your description of Chabad is very true. I doubt that anyone in whatever temple/shul you go to will be aware of your husband being Jewish or not, and since neither of you have any expectations of his ritual participation in the services, I wouldn't be too concerned about that factor. Presumably, you'll be sitting together.
Don't get me started about a particular synagogue in FH that refused to let me in for yiskor because I didn't have a ticket. BTW, my father was one of their founding members. I managed to hold my tongue and walked over to an Orthodox shul where no one questioned me at all, I sat down in an empty seat, and just stayed there awhile. I've never seen anyone chased away from an Orthodox shul because of lack of a ticket. To me, this is a great part of the downfall of the Conservative movement.
My sister and her husband live near the conservative synagogue in which my brother-in-law was bar mitzvahed. Apparently, on Yom Kippur, they have services for members and at some points they do open up the temple to non-members without tickets.
Jensays, your story reminds me of something that happened to my parents. My family belonged to a large Conservative synagogue in western Nassau County for many years, at least 15, probably 20 or more. My sister went to nursery school there, my brother and sister attended Hebrew school there, my brother's bar mitzvah reception was in the ballroom there. And Dad always said yes when the endless donation calls seemed to come just as we were sitting down to dinner. When my father's business (self-employed in retail) had a bad year, my mother went to the temple office, got a nice greeting from the receptionist, and then asked to speak to the temple president, which she did. Mom explained the situation and asked if they could pay a reduced amount for the year, due to some financial difficulties and was told "no." I told her that she'd be crazy if she ever went back there for any reason, whether as a member or as an "outsider" to hold a family function there. Yes, I get that temples do have financial concerns, but there has to be some way to deal with this sort of issue.
Shayna, sounds like that Temple and Bank of America have the same management. I wonder if they charge a $5 talis rental fee?
Having been involved in Temple Finances I can tell you that it ain't cheap to run one. A
certain one in FH likely has a very high overhead. So I can understand charging for tickets from non members. Many including mine include it with membership. What some Temples charge for them it isn't much more to join. I actually pay a very nominal amount for guests $54 per person. That being said I have never seen or heard of any Temple not opening Yiskor services up to the community. If capacity is an issue they might hold two Yiskor services one for the members and one for the Community.
In my shul I know there are some families who are on dues relief, it's not said who, it's handled in private but it's done. I assume the membership committee has criteria for the decision so no one takes advantage. I've also been told that at least 40 percent of the members of a certain Reform Temple on Middle Neck Rd are on dues relief, so damn expensive it's impossible not to be. Other than the very large synagogues, many Orthodox Shuls do not function on a membership basis the way a Conservative or Reform shul does. But then many of the Reform and Conservative offer a higher level of services than a typical Orthodox Congregation (Chabad excepted).
TR, the temple I am talking about is a certain Conservative synagogue within sight of a certain very good, but very expensive appetizing place on Roslyn Road. My guess is that you know which one it is. At least back in the olden days, they included tickets with the dues, but I think that once the "kids" became of a certain age--maybe 21, or college grads, they would age out and their tickets, as well as tickets for additional family members/guests would have to be purchased. I have no idea what they do now. The situation with my parents left me so disappointed that I wanted to go into the temple and yank the leaf on the tree of life display on the wall on which my parents' names were engraved off of the wall. If they had a committee that dealt with dues relief, the President of the temple did not bother to tell my mother about it.
Now that you say it, I think that it's yiskor for which the temple near my sister (in Syosset) opens up a second service for non-members. My other sister belongs to a Conservative synagogue near downtown Flushing and the dues there are apparently not much more than membership. Not sure how much guest tickets are, but I think more than what you pay.
Shayna: Your mother should've tried next door or Shelter Rock if she didn't want to change teams.
I know which Temple you're talking about in Flushing, it might not be as expensive as you think. It's a nice place, the sanctuary was rebuilt after a fire and I've met a couple of the Officers they're very nice people. It's an old congregation and I know they're looking for new members so they might be very accomodating.
And believe me, there's probably not one person on this whole board who wouldn't be familiar with the place I'm talking about. At one time, it was one of the largest in terms of membership. Now they're struggling.
I've been on the boards of 2 Orthodox shuls, and it's very difficult to make a dollar out of 99 cents, no matter what the denomination. We have lower membership dues then many reform and conservative, but then again, we're all paying tuitions for yeshivas as well. I think we paid approximately $325 this year for the High Holidays - my husband and I, and one of our sons (the other is praying in his yeshiva). Curious, TR, what do you mean by a "higher level of service"? Our synagogue is active 7 days a week, not only with services, but ongoing classes for the members, communitywide events, and so forth. We have a small social hall that people sometimes rent out for smaller functions, but no in house catering.
Jen: Your shul is not providing services on the level of that certain conservative shul. I know of a number of conservative and reform Shuls that function similarly, especially in the burbs. One thing your shul is not running is a religious school, which is a huge cost that isn't covered by tuition and is subsidized by the membership.
What you're describing is the problem that day schools and yeshivas have to a greater degree. Tuitions barely cover the salaries of the two tiers of teachers (Hebrew studies and secular subjects). Then there are operating expenses, a physical building, and so forth. And with the downturn in the economy, donations have virtually dried up. It's a serious situation that will impact future generations as well.
The instructors for the classes we offer (my husband teaches one) are volunteers, and there is no charge to attend.
That's why some of the bigger ones have annual fundraising dinners, even a number of secular private schools and even some public schools host them. I've been to a few.
TR, it was years ago, all of the kids were through all of the schooling and it was at a point where they were really only going for the holidays, actually Mom wasn't even doing much of that, either. Rabbi Fenster was still the rabbi at Shelter Rock when this all happened--he had done a funeral service for my infant brother, and my mother had said that he was really a dear man about it, plus one sister's bat mitzvah reception had been there and my other sister had been married there, but I think that my parents were a bit disheartened about how they were treated at the other place and Mom wasn't one to "shop around" for much of anything, especially a temple, when she didn't really like going to services.
As for the temple in Flushing, I mistyped something--it should have read "the dues there are apparently not much more than the cost of the holiday tickets." I'm sure that the dues there are far more "approachable" than many of the suburban temples. Though cosmetically it could use some updating, I get the feeling that back in the day, it was very similar to the temple of which my family were members while I was growing up. They're definitely struggling, though selling off part of the parking lot apparently helped. Apparently, it was quite a contentious decision, but my sister said that however long it keeps the congregation going, at least the older congregants should be able to continue going there for as long as they live. They discontinued the non-special needs Hebrew school a couple of years before my nephew was bar mitzvahed and his was the only bar mitzvah at the temple that year. The rabbi apparently looked at my sister like she had two heads when she wanted to nail down a date for my nephew's bar mitzvah two years in advance, so she could book the place where she wanted to have the reception.
That one and the Free Synagogue were very active in the day. That part of Flushing had a very big Jewish community until the Eighties. Any Bar Mitzvahs now are probably Schechter kids and Schechter is preparing them. They don't have the financial drain of the Hebrew School anymore. The special needs class is likely small and actually attracts new members. Plus they're likely to get some fundraising and grants to pay for it.
If only the annual dinner covered all the remaining costs! It's a drop in a very deep bucket. Believe me, I'm very familiar with the financial situations, having 3 kids. And there are a lot of people who have many more children then I do where parents are currently un or underemployed. It's scary.
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