Community Church

Frequently asked questions

Q?
I’m so excited about joining Congregation Agudas Israel. How do I join?
A.
When someone is ready to join Congregation Agudas Israel, they should first call the office to meet with Rabbi Weintraub and get a membership packet. After filling out the paperwork and being officially welcomed by the board, you are now a member! Congratulations! Welcome!
Q?
Who is welcome to join CAI?
A.
All Jews are welcome to join the community. We welcome interfaith families to join our congregation.
Q?
What’s going on at CAI?
A.
Please see our calendar for current events. Every Saturday and Festival morning, services are held at 290 North Street, Newburgh at 9:30AM. Tot Shabbat, family services, learning services and Friday night services meet per their schedule. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, services begin at 9AM.
Q?
What time are Saturday morning Shabbat services?
A.
We begin promptly at 9:30AM, although some are known to come wandering whenever they wake up.
Q?
What does it mean to be a Conservative Jew?
A.
I see Conservative Judaism as Maimonides’ or Aristotle’s or Buddha’s “Middle Way” or “Golden Mean”. We believe in the authority of Halacha, Jewish law, yet understand that this law must adapt to changing times and circumstances. We welcome the participation of men and women, straight, gay, lesbian, young, old, and everyone in between. As a community, we hope you will join us in observing kashrut, Sabbath and Festivals, but we welcome Jews in any place on their spiritual journeys. We believe that prayer, observance, and creating sacred community are important values that lead us to Gd.
Our rabbi was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Please see our links for more information about USCJ, JTS, Ziegler, and other movement organizations.
Q?
What does egalitarian mean?
A.
As an egalitarian Conservative congregation, we believe that men and women have the same rights and responsibilities with prayer and prayer garments. Because this is “new” in Jewish time, only within the last 30 years, we do not require women to wear kippot, tallitot or tefillin, but we do hope that you will try them and see how they can change your life and your worship experience.
Q?
What about my children?
A.
Prayer is noisy. Sometimes we sing. Sometimes we dance. Sometimes we move around. We definitely sit and stand a lot! We hope your child will feel welcome at our service. If they cry or ask questions, that’s just fine. We always have books and stuffed Torahs available to help encourage children to participate. We have begun a “Tot Shabbat” program monthly at 9AM in conjuction with Temple Beth Jacob. The schedule is available at https://www.facebook.com/KolYisraelTotShabbat
Q?
How do we worship?
A.
We use the Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Festivals, Sim Shalom for Weekdays and on High Holidays, the new Machzor Lev Shalem. Information about them can be found at the links below. Our service follows the traditional format of introductory songs and psalms, Psukei Dzimra, Shma and its blessings, Shacharit, Torah Service, followed by a sermon or discussion, and the Musaf Service. We always conclude with time to schmooze and nosh with a kiddush. If you would like to sponsor a special kiddush or lunch, we are always glad to eat with you!
Q?
How do we serve the community?
A.
We are always looking for opportunities for Gmilut Hasadim, deeds of lovingkindness. Some of us volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, various food banks and homeless shelters. We collect food for the hungry, clothing for those who need, and offer various other service opportunities through the Orange County Jewish Federation, as well as other organizations. If you see a way we can better help in Newburgh-New Windsor-Cornwall-Marlboro area, please let us know. http://www.jewishorangeny.org/
Q?
What do we study?
A.
Rabbi Weintraub offers many classes in Hebrew, Bible, Jewish texts, history, philosophy. If you have a class you would like him to teach, he will be glad to do so. If you have something you would like to teach, we would love to have you do so! All classes are open to both members and not-yet-members. Try them out anytime.
Q?
What do we do for fun?
A.
At CAI we play Scrabble every Tuesday at 11AM. We have various social events, cultural events inside and outside the building. This fall we plan on going on a river cruise, visiting museums and celebrating our nation’s heritage. All events are open to both members and not-yet-members. Try them out anytime.