Temple Beth Sholom

228 New Hempstead Rd
New City NY 10956
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<p>Temple Beth Sholom is a Reform Congregation dedicated to building on the rich traditions of its sacred past, joyfully creating a more meaningful Jewish present and exploring new paths towards a vibrant future.</p> <p>In 1958, the area's&nbsp; thriving Jewish community founded the Clarkstown Liberal Reform Congregation, and the first Shabbat service was held that August.</p> <p>The following month the name was changed to Temple Beth Sholom, and in the spring of 1959 the property on New Hempstead Road was purchased, a site that included the white building where the Nursery School is now housed and a swimming pool. The pool immediately became Avkim, "mikva" spelled backward&mdash;a congregational swim club that provided Beth Sholom with both a feeling of community and the nickname "the shul with the pool."</p> <p>The young congregation was one in which every member took part.&nbsp; By 1964, when the growing number of members required a new building, the congregants literally built the new structure themselves. The active lay leadership encompassed a large percentage of the congregation.&nbsp; Sisterhood and Brotherhood were always willing and enthusiastic supporters of the Temple and its programs.&nbsp; An active theater group was formed, mounting productions from <i>Teahouse of the August Moon</i> to the original musical <i>Mortimer Meek</i>, a children's play written and staged by congregants.&nbsp; The school's first students were confirmed and the youth group became a strong and active part of the congregation.</p> <p>The 1970s brought more expansion, and along with it, growth pangs.&nbsp; Plans for a new building were eventually accepted.&nbsp; The groundbreaking ceremony for the new building took place in September 1974, and the dedication of the new Sanctuary in October 1976.&nbsp; The new building became the center of activity and programming including an Israel Bond Drive, active involvement in UJA, a yearly joint service with New City Jewish Center and an annual interfaith Thanksgiving service.</p> <p>The new building brought a surge in membership and a new burst of activity.&nbsp; The religious school program was strengthened and expanded, and the junior and senior youth groups took their place along with Sisterhood and Brotherhood as vital parts of congregational life.&nbsp; A highly successful nursery school was established, as well as a Learning Center Program so that children of any ability could participate fully in Jewish education and life cycle celebrations.</p> <p>As part of Temple Beth Sholom's commitment to Social Action, for many years there was a "twinning program" in which Beth Sholom's bar and bat mitzvah students symbolically shared their <i>simcha</i> with the children of Soviet Jewish refuseniks.&nbsp; The largest and oldest program in the county providing religious services and holiday programming for adults in group homes has been maintained by the congregation for many years.</p> <p>&nbsp;Pulpit exchanges and interfaith activities with local African-American and Muslim congregations were in the vanguard of such programs in the Reform movement.&nbsp; Temple Beth Sholom is known for its egalitarianism and the warm welcome it extends to people of all sexual orientations.&nbsp;</p> <p>The congregation has been under the leadership of Rabbi David Fass for more than 25 years. The Rabbi serves as a Jewish Chaplain for the Rockland County Sheriff's department, sits on the Clarkstown Board of Ethics, is a member of the board and the executive committee of the Rockland Jewish Federation, and is active in social action, interfaith and interreligious work with the Christian, African-American and Muslim communities.</p> <p>The congregation's clergy also includes Cantor Sergei Schwartz.</p> <p>The congregation has a Brotherhood, a Sisterhood, a Youth Group, Chai Society and Social Action Committee.</p>