FAQs

How much does it cost?

We are blessed with a congregation committed to providing the resources we need to have top-notch staff and a best in class program. And, we never allow financial hardship to stand in the way of membership. See our dues and fees structure here.

We’re an interfaith family. Is that okay?

Emanu-El has a long, proud history of welcoming interfaith families. We’re known for our inclusivity and for ensuring every member of our congregational family feel good about their affiliation with Emanu-El. A highlight of each year is Rabbi Goldsmith’s blessing for the non-Jewish congregants on Yom Kippur. At the same time, non-Jewish congregants are never asked to do anything that impinges on their sense of religious integrity.

Where do you hold High Holy Day services?

Our sanctuary can accommodate the congregation for the High Holy Days.

Values?

We help families on their personal Jewish journeys by living out these enduring values: Warmth, Community, Tradition, Inclusivity, Innovation, Excellence, Engagement, Personal attention

How many students are in the school?

About 120.

How many students are in each class?

Class size on Tuesdays for Hebrew does not exceed 10 students, for Religious School on Sundays the class size does not exceed 15.

Which towns are represented at the synagogue?

Rye, Harrison/West Harrison/Purchase, Rye Brook, and some additional families from White Plains, Greenwich, Mamaroneck/Larchmont, New Rochelle and over 30 other cities and towns in Westchester, NYC, and beyond.

What do the students do?

Sundays is community building and values-based learning through our curriculum which covers holidays, rituals, history, traditions, and sacred texts.

Tuesday is Hebrew with a focus on becoming a praying community or a community of “pray-ers”. This means helping students develop facility with prayers, comfort in sanctuary services, music, the meaning and theology of key prayers, and building relationships with our clergy.

How do you incorporate the arts into the program?

Each week students meet with Cantor Stone to learn about Jewish and Israeli music. On a regular basis, classes meet with our artist in residence to interpret the stories and values of our tradition in various, age-appropriate media. Once a year, the students work with our drama teacher to help bring some of our ancient ideas and history to life.

Do the students volunteer?

Social action projects form an important part of our curriculum. Our Director of Education works closely with our social action committee to coordinate projects that align with the broader efforts of the wider congregation. From hands on crafts to fundraisers to volunteering with those in need, social action is a vital part of our religious school program. The crown jewel is The Farah Family Hineini Program, our 7th grade service learning program which is part of the B’nei Mitzvah year.

When do students start Hebrew school (attending two days per week)?

Hebrew language studies begin in 4th grade. And, we highly recommend students begin coming on Sundays in grades 1-3 which results in a greater sense of connection to our traditions and the congregation. The earlier they start, the happier they are for their entire time in Religious School.

Special Needs?

We are expert at working with families to respond to individual needs and making this feel like your home:

Students with special needs – Nearly half of our faculty are trained in special education

B’nei Mitzvah Boot Camp is completely individualized as is the entire B’nei Mitzvah process.

How can adults get involved?

Adult education, Women’s Study Group, Single Malt Torah, Adult Hebrew and b’nei mitzvah, Beit Midrash, Shabbat services, speakers, social action, Mitzvah Shabbat, ESL tutoring, monthly drives, Baby Bank Westchester, social justice, annual issue advocacy with coalition of Reform synagogues and other partners, meetings with local politicians, book club, Sisterhood, and more!

But do you really want me involved?

Our synagogue runs on lay-staff-clergy partnership – we welcome the participation of our congregants in all that we do!

What do you offer young families?

Begin your family’s Jewish Journey with Emanu-El! From holiday based Young Families programs to monthly pre-K and Kindergarten religious school programs, we embrace young families as they incorporate Jewish life into their homes. While all of these programs are free and open to the pubic, please check out our special membership rates for young families that opens access to all of our synagogue programming.