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A message from Cantor Isaac Sonett-Assor

It's no accident that Tu Bishvat lines up with Shabbat Shirah, the Jewish community's celebration of music. As any gardener knows, music helps plants grow. Researchers have learned that musical vibrations help plants absorb nutrients and even attract pollinators. Studies show that nearly two thirds of gardeners play music for their plants. Pete Seeger said it best: "Plant your rows straight and long/Season them with a prayer and a song." 

Communities need songs to grow stronger too; in singing together at the shore of the sea, the Children of Israel first became a people. Joey Weisenberg teaches that communal singing "teaches us how to listen to each other despite what may seem to be our vastly different backgrounds and world-views."

We hope you will come sing with us this Shabbat Shirah as WRT welcomes our artists-in-residence Rabbi-Cantor Shani Ben Or and Boaz Dorot. 



Join Rabbi Blake and Cantor Kleinman for a solidarity mission to Israel, as we show our support for our brothers and sisters in Israel. We will meet with both political leaders and those overseeing key social initiatives, connect with our sister communities in Israel, hear and bear witness to the stories of those affected by the current crisis, and provide meaningful hands-on volunteer support.  

The trip will take place from March 17th - 22nd, 2024. You can find the trip itinerary, details, and registration links here. Please note that the registration deadline is February 15th and the trip is only open to WRT members.

Register Here

Shabbat Services

Shabbat Shira with Special Guests from Israel, 

Rabbi-Cantor Shani Ben Or and Boaz Dorot

Friday, January 26 at 6:15 pm – Service in the WRT Sanctuary

Saturday, January 27 at 9:00 am – Shabbat In The Round in the Beit Am

Come celebrate the Shabbat of Song, named for the joyous song the Israelites sang as they crossed the sea from slavery into freedom. Our Shabbat worship and learning will feature special guests from Israel, Rabbi-Cantor Shani Ben Or and Boaz Dorot, who will teach about "Sacred Sounds in A Time of War."

Join us in the sanctuary on Friday night for a rousing Kabbalat Shabbat service, featuring a sermon-in-song led by our artists-in-residence. Come again on Saturday morning for a special "Shabbat In The Round" experience, including an intergenerational Shabbat service from 9-10 am, followed by a bagel oneg. At 10:45 am, Shani and Boaz will lead an interactive study session.

With their beautiful compositions inspired by their sounds of their Israeli upbringing along with their liturgical expertise, Shani and Boaz’s soulful voices and melodies will lift our spirits, just as Miriam with her timbrel.

Facebook Live
YouTube Live
WRT Website

Programs and Special Events

Judaism on the Vanguard of the Future: A Special Adult Learning Course with Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman of Sinai and Synapses

Thursday, January 25 at 10:15 am (on Zoom)

You won't want to miss this special mid-winter online (Zoom-only) learning opportunity with a distinguished and brilliant teacher who works at the intersection of science and spirituality. Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman has been a featured guest teacher at WRT for years, elevating both the minds and souls of our congregants and community. 

Over five sessions taught on Thursday mornings (10:15 - 11:45 AM) in January and February, Rabbi Mitelman will engage us in the exploration of how Judaism will grapple and interact with unprecedented developments in new technologies and discoveries (AI, genetic engineering, new theories of the origins and size of the cosmos) that are already shaping the 21st century. How will our spiritual tradition change along with changing times? What time-honored wisdom does Judaism offer us as we contemplate a future almost inconceivably different from the present?

Session 1 (January 11): Are We Using Technology, or Is Technology Using Us? 

How is technology changing the way we interact with others and our world? What are the limits and opportunities that technology creates for our relationships? How can we understand and appreciate Shabbat in our 24/7 ever-connected world?

Upcoming session: February 1, 8 and 15

Register Here
You can watch his class from 1/11 here


Thursday, January 25 at 2:00 pm

Our fall series was a resounding success, and participants have asked for more! We invite you to come back or try this series to nurture your body and soul. RSVP via email to receptionist@wrtemple.org or call the temple office at 914-723-7727.

Upcoming dates: February 1, 8 & 29

Meditation with Rabbi Baken & Norm Goldstein

Friday, January 26 at 11:00 am (in the CJL Living Room)


Many of us are aware that mindfulness and meditation have become increasingly present in people’s lives as a set of tools to navigate stress, increase calmness and clarity, and to promote joy. We at WRT are excited to be continuing our Meditation Lab, which utilizes Judaism as a context for meditation and explores Jewish meditative techniques. While each of us continues to navigate our emotions and responses to the ongoing crisis in Israel and Gaza, we will also continue to use meditation as a way of creating more space in our hearts and minds.

*Followed by Writer's Circle for the Spiritually Curious

Addressing the Impact of the Crisis in Israel and Gaza on Childrens' Mental Health: A Presentation and Q&A with child psychologist Dr. Adam Weissman

Sunday, January 28 at 12:00 pm (in-person)

The Men of Reform Judaism welcome Dr. Adam S. Weissman, Founding President and Chief Psychologist of The Child & Family Institute, a world-renowned clinical psychology practice founded here in Scarsdale. Dr. Weissman will discuss the escalating youth mental health crisis, and the innovative, data-driven solutions he and his team have developed to optimize effective treatment and individualized patient care, including his pro bono Crisis Counseling Initiative, providing free, immediate mental healthcare to those impacted by the war in Israel and Gaza.

Register Here

Cooking4HOPE, Hot Meals

Monday, January 29, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (Westchester Reform Temple Kitchen)

Sign up to join other members of the WRT community to cook a hot dinner, make sandwiches, and pack sandwich bags for HOPE Community Services. You can also sign up to bake desserts to be included in the sandwich bags, to shop for groceries, or to deliver the sandwiches to HOPE.  Sign up here. Please consider volunteering for a leadership role in Cooking4Hope. Contact sharon.stiefel@wrtemple.org to volunteer or learn more.  Cooking4HOPE is funded by WRT’s Food and Housing Insecurity Fund, so please continue to support these efforts by contributing to the Fund.

Bereavement Group 

Wednesday, January 31 at 12:00 pm (in-person)

These support groups are for those in mourning over a loss, and to help find comfort and process feelings of loss through caring discussion and in sacred Jewish context. Led by Jane Slevin, LMFT (Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist from Westchester Jewish Community Services) and Cantor Laura Stein, LMSW, a social worker specializing in spiritual care.

Safeguarding the Web: The Battle Against Online Extremists with Tamar Mitts

Wednesday, January 31 at 7:00 pm (in-person)

Imagine a game of whack-a-mole, but instead of moles, it's extremist groups popping up on your favorite social media platforms. That's the challenge of content moderation, and it's more complex than just banning accounts. This lecture will dive into how these groups adapt and thrive despite takedowns, exploiting differences in platform rules to create "safe havens" for their harmful messages. We'll explore the concept of "digital resilience," using real data to understand how inconsistent moderation across platforms fuels their spread. 

Register Here

WRJ Discussion and book signing with author Barbara Josselsohn

Wednesday, January 31 at 7:30 pm (in-person)

Join us to catch up with our community, have some drinks and a nosh followed by a discussion with Barbara Josselsohn of her two historical novels: Secrets of the Italian Island and the newly released The Lost Gift to the Italian Island.

Register Here

Vaccines for Adults: What You Should Know

Sunday, February 4 at 12:30 pm (in-person)

Vaccines are our most important and effective tool for prevention of many

common infections and at some cancers. Yet, they are sometimes

misunderstood and often misrepresented. In his lecture, “Vaccines: What

You Should Know” Mike Simberkoff, M.D, Professor Medicine/Infectious

Diseases NYU Grossman School of Medicine, will discuss and answer your

questions about some vaccine history, describe how vaccines work and

barriers to their effectiveness, and provide important information on four

infections and their vaccines that are currently in the news: influenza (flu)

vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, and

shingles vaccine.

The American Jewish Experience in Three Landmark Movies

Join Rabbi Blake for Afternoons at the Movies and Conversation, as we continue to explore the American Jewish Experience in film! We will warm up the chilly days of winter with good movies, a little wine and snacks, some laughs and interesting discussion. Together, we will watch and discuss three landmark films that comment on the American Jewish experience with wisdom and wit.  

Please join us for any one or all three films. Registration is separate for each film.

Sunday, February 4, 2:00 - 5:00 pm - The Fabelmans (2022)

Register here

These films will be shown at WRT. Sponsored by the FreeBirds, everyone is welcome. There is no charge for these events; however you must register to attend. 

Questions? Contact Lori Gertzog at Lori.Gertzog@gmail.com

Divorce Group

Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 pm (in-person)

WRT is committed to embracing and supporting people as they live through divorce and single parenting, and find their new family rituals in the face of that change. 

Cantor Laura Stein alongside Jane Slevin, LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) from WJCS. Together, they lead our monthly support group. 


Greater Centennial & Westchester Reform Temple Present Shared Legacies

*New date: February 8 at 7:00 pm at Greater Centennial Fellowship Hall, 312 South 8th Avenue, Mt. Vernon, NY


Come view the documentary Shared Legacies, winner of the Meyerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival Audience Favorite Award, at Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church. The documentary tells the often forgotten story of the coalition and friendship between the Jewish and African-American Communities during the Civil Rights Movement. The viewing will be followed by a conversation with our communities led by Pastor Stephen W. Pogue and Rabbi Jonathan E. Blake. Light refreshments will be served. 

Questions? Email sharon.stiefel@wrtemple.org.  If you would like to receive transportation from WRT to Greater Centennial and back, please sign up here.

Visit the Early Childhood Center (ECC)

Go to the ECC

Visit the Jewish Learning Lab (JLL)

Go to the JLL
Check out the new JLL Video!

For WRT members: If you would like to receive notifications of birth announcements and deaths within the WRT community, please email receptionist@wrtemple.org with your full name and email address. Please specify if you would like to be added to one or both of these notification lists.  

For more information about Inclusion at WRT, click here.

For more information about Our Jewish World, click here.

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