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Mission Statement

The mission of Central Synagogue is to embody and to celebrate the "brit" (covenant) between God and the Jewish people as originally revealed in the Torah and as it has evolved through our history. We are commanded to live as individuals and as a community with sacred purpose, with dedication to the continuity of the Jewish people, and with awareness of God's expectations of us as we pursue tikun olam (repair of the world) and reflect the covenant in our personal and communal life.

The Synagogue will joyfully support and embody these values so that they become integral to the life of its members through:

  1. Ritual and observance: to express our relationship with God and connect us to our past and future.
  2. Education: to enable the richness of Judaism to speak to us throughout our lives. We believe that everything that happens at Central Synagogue is an opportunity for Jewish learning.
  3. Gathering of Community: to bring Jews together in significant and meaningful ways for social, educational, ritual and support purposes.
  4. Connecting with and supporting Jews in Israel and around the world: to affirm the reality of C'lal Yisrael, that Jews are all intertwined each with the other.
  5. Social Action: to help those in need, to build relationship with other religious, racial, and ethnic groups, and to advocate positions consistent with our values.


Central Synagogue, a Reform congregation affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism, is one of the oldest Reform congregations in New York City. Formed from the merger in 1898 of Shar HaShomayim, founded in 1839 by German Jews, and Ahawath Chesed, founded in 1846 by Bohemian Jews, the congregation changed its name to Central Synagogue in 1920. Central Synagogue stands at the heart of one of the greatest centers of Jewish life. It has always played a significant role in the national Reform movement and in the creative and complex Jewish community of New York City. Its Rabbis and members continue a long tradition of leadership of local, national and international Jewish and civic organizations.

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