Welcome to Riverdale Temple

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Riverdale Temple is a progressive, welcoming, multi-generational Reform congregation located in the Riverdale sectioin of the Bronx. The warmth and intelligence of our spiritual leaders and of our membership--coupled with the physical beauty of our easily accessed location-- attract congregants of all backgrounds, from Manhattan and Westchester, as well as from the local community. At Riverdale Temple all are welcome to participate in temple life, no matter what their approach to Judaism or degree of Jewish literacy.We are committed to an inclusive approach to Jewish life, and we celebrate the diversity of our membership.

Our congregation includes singles, couples, those from Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds, members of LGBTQIA community-- and we all 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. At Riverdale Temple, we explore the beauty, worship, customs and camaraderie of Judaism- in the meaningful tradition of true Reform congregations. In fact, 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.

At Riverdale Temple, understandable and enjoyable servies are complemented by plenty of joyous, participatory music. Some members wear head coverings and tallit (prayer shawl), whle others do not. This reflects a fundamental tente of Reform Judaism:, each individual determines which practices have spiritual signifcance for him or her, yet we all share a commitment to moral and ethical conduct. We encourage you to follow the traditions that feel most appropriate for you. For detailed information about our traditions and their history and purpose, we urge you to partiocipate in a Riverdale Temple service, to see what it's all about here.

Looking ahead to the next generation of congregants, it is instructive to note that Rabbi Gardner is available to meet with prospective congregants to provide additional information about our congregation and help you identify and pursue the many ways in which synagogue affiliation can enrich your Jewish life. His door is always open. Please feel free to call him to set up an appointment .(718 548 3800 ext. 4)(rabbigardner@riverdaletemple.org).

Joining Riverdale Temple

Are We Right For You?

  • Do you believe that men and women should be able to participate equally, to the full extent of their abilities and talents, in every area of Jewish life?
  • Do you believe that every human life is equally sacred, regardless of religion, "race" (whatever that is?), sexual orientation, or ethnic origin?
  • Do you believe that Judaism is a changing, growing, evolving system of beliefs, customs and practices that has never stopped changing, growing and evolving?
  • Do you believe that the study of Jewish history should use all the tools, skills and expertise we would use to study any other important body of knowledge?
  • Do you have trouble believing in the God that is described in the Torah — but maybe you do – or could — believe in the God of Maimonides.. .or Buber.. .or maybe even (God forbid?) Spinoza?
  • Do you feel lost in a Jewish service that's mostly in Hebrew, or feel funny because you don't know when to sit or stand or bow or pray out loud or recite words when you don't know what they mean?
  • Do you have non-Jewish friends and relatives who would like to join you in celebrating holidays and life-cycle events without feeling like "outsiders"?
  • Do you want to be part of a community that is searching - together — for meaningful spiritual fulfillment, while participating fully in the secular world?

If so — surprise! You might be a reform Jew!

And Riverdale Temple might be the right place for you.

Types of Membership

There are two types of membership in Riverdale Temple: a Family membership and a Single membership.

  • A Family membership consists of a two adult household and any children under the age of 26, who are full time students or are unmarried, living in the household,
  • A Single membership consists of a one-adult household and any children under the age of 26, who are full time students or are unmarried, living in the household.

Membership is open to all who wish to follow the Jewish faith, including interfaith couples. Families, couples and singles are welcome. Gays and lesbians are welcome. This is a congregation that believes that if you wish to practice Judaism, no barriers should exist which limit access.

All adults are entitled to vote and hold office. All membership dues include seats for the High Holy Days. Only children of congregants may become Bar or Bat Mitzvah in the temple. Enrollment in our Religious and Hebrew School, without preparation for Bar or Bat Mitzvah, is available to non-members.

Please note: it is the temple policy to turn no one away who wishes to affiliate with the congregation, but does not have the financial means to do so. A discreet conversation with the Financial Secretary will determine the adjusted dues rate.

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