The Riverdale Way
Said Rabbi Shimon the Righteous: "because of three things does the world endure: because of Torah, because of worship, and because of acts of loving-kindness.
Riverdale Temple strives to perpetuate and encourage these three world-sustaining pursuits - Study - Prayer - Community - which became the traditional functions of every synagogue.
Torah ~ We embrace "Torah" in the broadest sense. Traditional Jewish study is fortifiedwith the most advanced and sophisticated academic tools available from modern scholarship.
Worship — We offer regular Sabbath worship, every Friday evening and Saturday morning. Spiritual fulfillment is a very personal matter and what nourishes the soul of some members may alienate others. Different services, therefore, offer different approaches to prayer.
Family Friendly Friday: we hold a family-friendly service on the first Friday evening of each month at 6:30 PM-8:00 PM. It is led by our Junior choir and geared toward young children. It is followed by a pot-luck, dairy (and nut-free) dinner.
Tot Shabbat: On the first and third Friday at 5:30 PM-6:00 PM we hold a 'Tot Shabbat" for children six years old and under (older siblings welcome). This 30-minute service includes singing, the lighting of the Shabbat candles, prayer, dance, story telling, crafts — and concludes with Kiddush (the blessing over grape juice) and Motzi (the blessing over the bread, or challah, along with a favorite nursery school song).
Traditional Reform Service: Once a month we hold a "traditional Reform" service, complete with pipe-organ and professional choir. The remaining Sabbath Eve services are an evolving mix of participatory singing and praying designed to welcome in the Sabbath spirit of peace and rest. Our Shabbat morning services are completely participatory. The central element of Saturday morning's worship is the reading of the Torah and Haftarah, followed by a stimulating discussion led by the rabbi, and with all opinions and contributions welcome.
Acts of Loving Kindness: Riverdale Temple has become, over the past several years, a true family and an integral part of our larger, local community. We create and promote a wide range of outreach efforts. Importantly, the hallmark of our family gatherings is the inclusion of every age group, orientation, background, family structure, interest or any other identification you can imagine. This diversity is a source of great pride and pleasure to us all.
We try, consciously, to nurture our connections to each other. Friday activities are carefully designed to meld with today's hectic family lifestyles and to foster that all-important senses of community between congregants.The service itself is kid-friendly and regularly attended by generations of Congregants.
The warm, family feeling continues with the Shabbat Meal, which extends into the night. Kids play, parents catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Congregants alternate between bring-a-dish, pot-luck dinners – held in our comfortable, inviting ballroom – and modestly priced catered meals from local food service providers. From tasty deli, to chicken with "all the fixings," to homemade baked ziti, the Friday night Shabbat Services and Meal demonstrates the healing and restorative power, and FUN, of Community – The Riverdale Temple way!