Rabbi Cella leads CAI for the 2019 World Wide Wrap

On Sunday, February 3rd, Rabbi Cella led the morning minyon in participating in the 2019 World Wide Wrap. First timers learned how to put on Tefillin with the help of our experienced congregants. After services, we enjoyed a delicious brunch along with additional learning on the ritual of Tefillin.

Join Rabbi Cella for the World Wide Wrap!

2019 World Wide Wrap.jpg

Come join CAI and TBJ as we light CAI’s Giant Hannukah Menorah!!

Every evening from December 2 through December 9, we’ll be honoring a different group!

Come for as many lightings as you can. Everyone is welcome!

Sunday, 12/2, 6pm – New members of CAI and TBJ

Monday, 12/3, 6pm – Elected Officials

Tuesday, 12,4, 6pm – Teachers and Students

Wednesday, 12/5, 6pm – First Responders )Police, Fire & EMS)

Thursday, 12/6, 6pm – Community Volunteers

Friday, 12/7, 4pm – Seniors

Saturday, 12/8, 6pm – Clergy (ours and interfaith)

Sunday, 12/9, 6pm – Grand Finale – All adult community members!

Hot drinks and treats will be provided each night!

Downtown Bagels and Miracle Bagels are now certified Kosher (parve)

Shalom to the Members of Congregation Agudas Israel and the Jewish community of Newburgh and Friends Near and Wide:

We are pleased to advise you that our community now has freshly baked kosher bagels (pareve).

The production is supervised on a regular basis by Rabbi Moshe Edelman, one of our rabbis, to assure you of a quality product and to ensure you of a guaranteed standard of Jewish dietary acceptance.

From the flour to the making of the dough; from the dough to the bagel presentation (twisting); from the boiling of the bagels (in a dedicated huge pot) to their baking (in a special bagel only oven); every ingredient is under strict “HASHGACHA”, rabbinic supervision, in factories and on location Look for our certificate of supervision in the stores.

Please shop at Downtown Bagels located in the Mid Valley Mall 47 North Plank Rd, Suite 10 in Newburgh and Miracle Bagels 372 Windsor Hwy, New Windsor.


“I Never Really Did Like Kool -Aid: My Fifty Year Journey from Jesus to the Rabbinate”. 

Spend a lively social evening with Rabbi Margie Cella and hear her fascinating story:

“I Never Really Did Like Kool -Aid: My Fifty Year Journey from Jesus to the Rabbinate”.

Many of you have been asking to hear the story of Rabbi Cella’s journey to Judaism along with her husband and children, and then her continued journey which led her to the rabbinate. She promises you will not be bored!

We will gather at the Rabbinage for wine and cheese, hear this unusual story and enjoy coffee and cake. Please RSVP to the office at (845) 562-5604 .

On Saying Goodbye

A message of thanks from Rabbi Weintraub:

This is a very strange month for me.  As I prepare to depart from Newburgh and Congregation Agudas Israel on July 1, 2018, I am beginning to contemplate my new life in St. Petersburg with Congregation B’nai Israel.  I wonder what will be the same and what will be different? What will my responsibilities entail? How will I be welcomed and how will I ensure that the synagogue there is a place of welcoming for all?

As I ponder those questions, I have been working on the challenging text of winding down here.  I have been trying to keep up my normal working activities, while also making extra efforts to make phone calls, meet in person, sit down and talk to the people of CAI.  For the last seven years, they have been by my side in so many different ways. We have studied Torah together, prayed together, shared celebrations and mourned together.  As I go about these coffees, lunches, dinners, meetings I have become overwhelmed by the words of kindness I have heard. I have discovered that small gestures on my part have been received as larger than life by their recipients.  A phone call, a text message, a Facebook post, a hospital or home visit.

For me, these are what I imagine is expected behavior from a rabbi.  Our job, our career is study, prayer, inspiration, but most of all, it is to be present with the souls of those around us.  The job is not just what we put down on paper or in the ether of the internet, but in the human interactions that are far harder to tally.  I might have made lists of the thousands of phone calls, hundreds of visits, and far too many funerals, but instead we all have our respective memories.  

Through it all, I am most grateful to my beloved.  She has stood by me through interrupted dinners, evenings, nights.  She has known that those “interruptions” were sacred moments, calls to be with people in their brightest and darkest moments.  Being a rabbi is more than a full time position. My phone is always nearby. Even on Shabbat, we can be reached via the doorbell. None of this would be possible without her support and her love. My work is in my office and yours,  in my home and yours, within the community in so many different ways. As I say my goodbyes around town, I discover that within the community I am a (very) minor celebrity, that my gestures of goodwill have been well received.

All in all, I am grateful for the time I have spent here.  For me, Newburgh and CAI was a place of personal, spiritual, intellectual growth.  It was a place where I took the theory of my education and turned it into practical ministry, practical rabbinics. Sometimes I made mistakes, and I hope that I took responsibility for them, that I learned from them. I have never claimed to be perfect, but am always striving to be better, to build a kesher, a connection with Gd and community.

Leaving is bittersweet.  New opportunities beckon, new adventures await, yet the love I have for this community will always remain.  CAI and Newburgh are holy places. They have been an essential part of my rabbinic journey. I pray for the strong, bright, vibrant future of these holy communities.


Hanukkah celebrations

Over the last few nights we’ve celebrated Hanukkah as a community. Each night we’ve celebrated and honored members of the community with different backgrounds and roles. We thanks them for their hard work!

Going on our way…

Happy Thanksgiving.  Here is a brief video I made about Jacob’s journey and ours.  Wishing you a meaningful time with your family and friends.

Interfaith Thanksgiving

How do we support one another?

On November 19, on Benkard Ave, I stood with a dozen local clergy members and almost 100 members of our Newburgh communities.  At St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, we heard beautiful music and had fellowship together.  We heard words from Isaiah, Psalms, and Corinthians–from the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Scriptures.  We sat and stood and sat and stood together.  We reminded ourselves that no matter our faith, we are one city.

Amidst these messages of peace and love, we shared good will.  We collected food and financial donations for Loaves and Fishes, which will feed over 1000 families in the City of Newburgh this year for Thanksgiving.  Thanks to donations from those attending, from supermarkets and the broader community, this miracle comes to pass every year.  Yet this miracle takes a lot of work to happen!

Every year it is down to the wire.  Every year, they do not know if they will have enough.  Usually, they find a way to make it work.  The families depend on the support of Loaves and Fishes.  Without it, they would have no turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and more.  While it is just one place where the fixings for a meal are available, we know that across the city, churches, synagogues and social service agencies are ensuring that families have what they need.

My question is about the rest of the year.  What are we doing then?  Sure, I schlepped some heavy potato sacks this week, but how will I help next week?  Or in July?  I can see the appreciation when I had someone a turkey, but how do I help so they do not need one next year?

Recently, I have seen political, racial, religious divisions run deeper than ever before.  I have heard and seen hate against virtually every segment of our population.  My faith teaches that we are all created in the Image of the Holy One.  I pray that these small acts of kindness for Thanksgiving will inspire us to work together throughout the year.  Let us hire people for our businesses who don’t look like us.  Let us invite people for coffee and dinner who talk differently than us.  Let us remember that no matter our politics, our faith, our color, we are all one.  Let us be thankful for the blessings we share.  When we share a smile and a thank you, it’s a lot harder to find hate.  As Father Bill Damroth shared with us in the words of William Watkinson, it is “far better to light the candle than to curse the darkness.” Happy Thanksgiving!

PJ library

Looking forward to offering our thanks with PJ library tomorrow at 10:30am in the Copans Library. We will start with Havdalah, do a craft, sing songs, read PJ library books and have coffee for the grownups and donuts for everyone! Hope you have as much fun as we do!