What denomination is Kesher Israel?
We’re a Conservative Synagogue. We use the Sim Shalom Prayer Books for Weekday Minyan and Shabbat services. We are an egalitarian shul, where men and women chant Torah and Haftorah, and can receive an Aliyah. Men and women sit together.
How much does membership cost?
You’ll be pleasantly surprised. We purposely keep the cost of membership affordable, so that people who want to be part of our Historic Congregation Kesher Israel can afford to do so. Click here to download our membership form. If you still cannot afford our membership, call Executive Director Norman Millan at 215-922-1776. We have never let affordability be a roadblock for anyone who wants to be part of Kesher Israel.
When and where are services conducted?
• Morning Minyan (Zoom only), Sunday through Friday, at 8AM.
Note: We are now experimenting with Friday morning minyan in the main Sanctuary. We also use Zoom for those who cannot attend in person.
• Saturday morning Shabbat in our Sanctuary at 9:15AM.
• Jewish Holidays in our Sanctuary at 9:15AM.
Why don’t you have in-person morning Minyan at Kesher Israel every day?
In general, our loyal Kesher Israel “minyanaires” have made adjustments, after Covid-19 forced the closing of our shul, to have morning minyan on Zoom. We’re still experimenting and making adjustments as conditions warrant. Call the Office, 215-922-1776, in advance, to get the correct Zoom log in.
What time are services on Saturday morning?
Services begin at 9:15AM and end at approximately 11:45AM. Our Rabbi Romirowsky, Chazzan Steve Friedell, and volunteer readers, make this a beautiful experience. All you have to do is open your mind and heart.
Does Kesher Israel have Shabbat morning services on Zoom?
No. Overwhelmingly, our congregants want to pray together in our beautiful Sanctuary. Covid protocols have relaxed, and we have moved back to live services in our spacious Sanctuary.
Is parking available so that we can drive to Kesher Israel?
Yes! Free Parking is available on Saturday morning for people attending Kesher Israel services. You must park on the north side of Lombard Street, from 3rd Street to 5th Street. Be sure to pick up a Free Parking Placard in Kesher Israel’s vestibule, and place it in your front windshield on the passenger’s side.
How does Congregation Kesher Israel deal with Covid-19 safety protocols?
Our Sanctuary seats 880 people. We reopened for Shabbat Services in 2021, and we remain confident that there is ample room for safe social distancing. We also have “mask only” pews where congregants who want to be masked can feel safe and be a safe distance from other congregants who are not masked. We adhere to all federal, state and city guidelines, so naturally, our policy is subject to change. If you have additional questions, please call the Office at 215-922-1776.
I have relatives who are not Jewish. Can they attend services with me on Shabbat?
Absolutely! Everyone is welcome. Our prayer books are in Hebrew and English for every page, so it’s easy to follow. Also, many prayers have been transliterated, so that people who do not read Hebrew can follow along.
Does Congregation Kesher Israel offer conversion classes?
Yes! Judaism has never been a closed corporation. Our Rabbi Romirowsky has supported and enabled many people to convert to Judaism over the course of his years as a Rabbi, usually on a one-to-one basis. We leave theology to the Rabbi. Call the Office at 215-922-1776, ask for Norman, and we’ll get you started.
Does Congregation Kesher Israel have a Hebrew School?
Yes! Our Hebrew School meets during the week and on Shabbat. Call the Office at 215-922-1776 for more information.
Does Congregation Kesher Israel have a Preschool?
Yes! We are very proud of our Schwartz Preschool. Take a look https://schwartzpreschool.com/ (link)
Does Congregation Kesher Israel keep a Kosher kitchen?
Absolutely! It’s our tradition. We work diligently, pay the additional costs, and exert the required discipline, to keep kosher at Kesher. These rituals and commandments have been observed by Jews for generations. It’s part of what keeps us together and connected.
Does Congregation Kesher Israel have an Oneg Shabbat or Shabbat Kiddush?
Now you’re talking. Shabbat just wouldn’t be Shabbat at Kesher Israel if our congregants didn’t come upstairs to the Banquet Hall after Kiddush and enjoy a delicious kosher Shabbat lunch. We have simchas and events we want to share and remember. Our members often sponsor Shabbat lunch, and Stuart and Simon prepare it for the enjoyment of everyone who comes to Shul. Join us.