Welcome to Congregation B’nai Avraham, the Orthodox synagogue in Brooklyn Heights. As the only Orthodox synagogue in the neighborhood, we serve a unique role in accommodating people with divergent religious backgrounds and at varying levels of observance. We welcome all!
Our goal is to increase the level of Jewish awareness, knowledge and observance by providing a warm, welcoming community with activities to appeal to people at all levels and with varying interests. We provide a daily morning and evening minyan and more than ten classes a week for adult learning, as well as beginner’s services and children’s services on Shabbat. Our Mei Menacham Mikvah is perhaps the most beautiful mikvah in the City.
Our membership includes both Ashkenazim and Sephardim, and our members’ first languages include Hebrew, Russian, Yiddush, French, Spanish and Arabic, as well as English. Our spiritual leader, Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin, is a member of the Chabad movement, and during services most people use the RCA ArtScroll Siddur and the Stone Chumash, although other Siddurim and Chumashim are readily available.
Come to Saturday services and enjoy a sociable kiddush afterwards, or stop by at one of our many classes, or come to a Friday night dinner with singing, joy and a guest speaker. Whether you are a yeshivah graduate, baal teshuvah, considering conversion or totally new to matters Jewish, we welcome you, and you will find a comfortable place in our vibrant community.
There’s always something happening at B’nai Avraham! Every day of the week Jewish education classes are taught for free in English.
If you want to pursue your Jewish education, there are no more excuses. See our *list of classes* for more particulars. Don’t see your topic on the list? Ask us!
In the Summer of 1988 Stephen and Penny Rosen, having recently become more observant, wanted to establish an orthodox Shabbat minyan. Together, they contacted Rabbi Shimon Hecht of B’nai Jacob in Park Slope, who supplied them with a Torah scroll, books, and a very young man to lead services and read from the Torah. Space was rented from a local theater group, signs posted, calls made, and the hope was that someone would show up for the scheduled Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. Initially, there were the Rosens, Drs. Walter and Brenda Molofsky, previous members with the Rosens of a local Conservative Synagogue, the young man (Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin) and Rabbi Raskin’s brother Shua, who was recruited to walk from Crown Heights with the Rabbi.
Amazingly enough, other people came so that there was a minyan, and the first and only Orthodox Synagogue in Brooklyn Heights began.
After Yom Kippur, holiday and Saturday morning services were held at the Rosen’s residence for the next nine months. The Congregation was officially founded as a religious corporation in December 1988. It was named B’nai Avraham in honor of Stephen Rosen’s grandfathers, both of whom had the Hebrew name “Avraham.” Rabbi Raskin noted that “B’nai Avraham,” literally, “children of Abraham” is the name given to converts, and the Congregation has had many converts among its members. After nine months at the Rosens’, the Congregation rented a parlor floor apartment on Clinton Street. As the landlady lived upstairs, the front door had to remain locked. Generally, Stephen Rosen waited at the front door to let people in. Latecomers tossed pebbles against a window and someone would come down to let them in.
We then moved to a commercial space at 100 Clinton Street, where at long last, we could leave the door open. Finally, in 1996, we moved to our current location at 117 Remsen Street, purchased from the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue (Reform), which acquired a larger building three doors away.
In 2000, the Mei Menachem Community Mikvah was built. It is one of the most beautiful and elegant Mikvahs in the New York area.
Providing the only luxurious mikvah in Brooklyn Heights, open to all women in the area, and membership is not required. For appointments, call (718) 596-4840 Ext. 22 or (917) 803-5430.
The Mei Menachem Mikvah, underneath Congregation B’nai Avraham, has been acclaimed as “breathtakingly beautiful” and “an architectural wonder,” with favorable reviews in the NY Times, the Brooklyn Paper and Channel 13. The mikvah is for ritual immersion, available to women only, except prior to Yom Kippur. An appointment is necessary.
You can also view a “Women and Mikvah” by Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin On The mitzvah of immersing in the ritual pool known as a mikvah click here.
- Classes take place at 117 Remsen Street, unless otherwise noted Sunday Gourmet Breakfast, 9:35am One-on-One Learning, 10:00am. With young rabbinical students from Crown Heights on any topic of your choosing (men only). If you’d like to set up a learning partner, please call Eliyahu (347) 413 2116. Monday The David Berg Lecture Series with Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin, 8 – 9 pm A variety of topics ranging from the Jewish life cycle and high holidays to Jewish mysticim and philosphy to Jewish history, Israel and the Holocaust. Click here for more information. Tuesday In-Depth Weekly Parsha with Rabbi Moshe Hubner, 8 – 9 pm Become acquainted with the philosophical and moral underpinnings of Jewish law (halacha) and custom. A dual emphasis is placed on technical mastery and conceptual comprehension of halacha, as well as practical application. This class deals with the laws pertaining to the weekly Torah portion. Wednesday Women’s Roundtable Study Group with Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin 9:15 – 10 am (with continental breakfast) Deeper insights into the parsha of the week. Chassidus Heritage Series with Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin 9:15 – 10 pm (after Maariv) Teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe M. M. Schneerson. Thursday Learning One-on-One (Ladies Only) 7:30-8:30 pm Note: Classes resume October 23, after the holidays. Contact Chaya Raskin for a study partner: (347) 415-2407 / firstname.lastname@example.org One-On-One Learning (Women’s and Men’s Program) with Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, 8 – 9 pm Learn a topic of your choice with an expert tutor and get your answers about Judaism answered. Rather than an impersonal instructor, the teachers become partners in your quest for greater insight, skills and understanding. Suggested topics include: Hebrew reading and translation, Bible study, Talmud, mysticism and philosophy. Saturday Chassidic Philosophy with Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin, 9 – 9:45 am Rambam: Chapter of the Day with Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin, 30 min. before Mincha Tales of Talmud with Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin, after Mincha
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