Who We Are

OUR MISSION

Riverdale Temple’s mission is to offer individuals and families from all walks of life a progressive, welcoming, multi-generational Reform Judaism congregation right here in Riverdale.

We are committed to an inclusive approach to Jewish life, and we celebrate the diversity of our membership.

Our warm, intelligent and welcoming clergy team, along with our friendly members and the sheer physical beauty of our easily-accessed building and grounds – our spiritual home – combine to attract congregants of all backgrounds from Manhattan and Westchester, as well as the local community.

Our congregation consists of singles, couples and families, and includes those from Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds, young and old, and members of the LGBTQIA community.

Together, we share a desire to study and celebrate with open minds, intellectual curiosity and mutual respect, for each other and for Jewish history and our heritage.

More about Riverdale Temple 

  • What are Riverdale Temple services like?

Shabbat Eve services are upbeat, fun and rich in joyful and melodic liturgy, to better welcome the Shabbat spirit of peace and rest.

Our participatory Shabbat Morning services – in addition to our customary blend of music and prayer – center upon the reading of the Torah and Haftarah, which is followed by a stimulating interactive discussion.

  • What programs do you have for kids?

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 communitywide, bring-a-dish dairy (and nut-free) dinner.

  • What about programs for younger children?

Tot Shabbat : On the first and third Friday at

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM we hold a “Tot Shabbat" for children five years old and under (older siblings welcome). This spirited 30-minute service includes singing, dancing, the lighting of the Shabbat candles, prayer, storytelling, 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) -- and pizza.

  • How long has Riverdale Temple been around?

We are the first Reform congregation in Riverdale and we remain the only local Reform congregation affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. We were founded in 1947 and our current building was dedicated in September, 1954.

  • What about parking?

No worries – there is always plenty of free, on-site parking at Riverdale Temple. 

  • Is Riverdale Temple right for me?

To find out more about Riverdale Temple life, please note that Rabbi Gardner is available to meet with prospective congregants. To arrange an appointment, please write to him at rabbigardner@riverdaletemple.org.

*More about Reform Judaism:

  • Reform Jews are committed to the principle of inclusion.

  • Reform Jews are committed to the absolute equality of women in all areas of Jewish life.

  • Reform Jews are also committed to the full participation of LGBTQIA congregants in synagogue life as well as society at large.

  • Tikkun olam — repairing the world — is a hallmark of Reform Judaism as we strive to bring peace, freedom, and justice to all people.