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Local Synagogue Upgraded, Aims to Draw New Members Over High Holidays

43rd Ave entrance

Sept. 17, 2017 By Staff Report

The leaders of a Sunnyside synagogue are looking to bring new members into the fold.

Young Israel of Sunnyside, an orthodox synagogue located at 43-01A 46th Street (separate entrance on 43rd Ave), aims to boost its membership at a time when the synagogue is being upgraded and the Jewish high holidays are approaching.

High holiday events calendar (Click to Enlarge)

The upgrades to the synagogue include new floors, windows and furniture, as well as a renovated kitchen and a refurbished children’s area. They aim to complete them before Rosh Hashanah, which begins the evening of September 20.

The congregation has benefited in recent years from the influx of young Jews into western Queens. However, membership is significantly lower today than in its heyday of the 1950s and ‘60s, when Sunnyside had a large Jewish community.

Stephen Weiner, who is the President at Young Israel of Sunnyside, said he is hopeful that the upgrades will attract new people to the synagogue for the holidays.

The congregation also plans to open a Hebrew school, which will make use of the refurbished children’s area.

Purim celebrations

Betty-Ann Hogan, Weiner’s wife, said the synagogue is very welcoming. Despite its orthodox following, she said that its membership is very diverse, and that congregants come from South America, Israel and the Middle East.

“It’s a nice, inclusive space,” Hogan said. “It’s not cliquish.”

Converts to Judaism are also embraced, she added.

Program Director Howard Brickman said that even though his own family is not orthodox, the synagogue has made him and his family feel welcome.

“Regardless of your family’s needs, we want to make everyone feel comfortable,” said Brickman.

The congregation is active in the community and hosts various 12-step recovery programs open to all. Hogan says that she hopes that the synagogue will be able to offer more community services with the renovation.

Weiner says that members wish to help residents renew their Jewish faith by helping them with Hebrew and religious texts. In addition to Hebrew, the synagogue features an English language library which Weiner says is helpful for those who want to explore the religion.

“It’s very welcoming to people who are reconnecting to their roots,” said Weiner. “Our religion has been around for thousands of years. Education is the only way to continue from generation to generation.”

More information can be found at www.youngisraelofsunnyside.org or on their Facebook page. Office hours are subject to change, but readers are asked to call (718) 786-4103 before visiting.

Alternatively, Office Manager Jill Parshley-Cardillo can be reached at [email protected].

email the author: [email protected]

20 Comments

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El loco

If me and Al from SUNNYSIDE can get along the Israelis and Palestinians can get along. I love you Al from SUNNYSIDE.

Reply
skillmanite

I always praise the good lord, after I rush down the street at 9.03am hoping to get to my vehicle before the trafficking jobsworth gleefully gives me a ticket, and finding out to my relief that it’s a dear old Jewish Holiday. May they have many more./

Reply
Roxy (the original)

I have been “Roxy” since this website started, but I did not write this. The imposter strikes again!

Reply
Roxy

I’m sorry to tell you this but you are not the only Roxy in Sunnyside and you don’t own the name. I bet I’m a better Roxy than you!

Reply
Al from Sunnyside

I will definetly be going there for Rosh Hashana. My only issue with this place is the average age of the congregants is about 85. They need some younger people.

Reply
Judi

No, it’s just that more people are able to recognize an imbecile posting when they see it than not. Don’t flatter yourself.

Reply
Oil Beef Hooked

This same person is completely obsessed with the city councilperson. What’s is the deal?

What do they want? A politician who does nothing, and does not appear in photographs.

Sad that they have to hijack every single article on this site to whine.

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