Ramath Orah has a unique legacy among Upper West Side synagogues. Founded in 1941 by Rabbi Dr. Robert Serebrenik, the synagogue’s original congregation was comprised of 61 refugees from Luxembourg who escaped the Nazi occupation under extraordinary circumstances. When they arrived in New York they immediately began the work of establishing a congregation in their new home. By 1942, they had founded Congregation Ramath Orah, naming it after the community they'd left.
We want our children to love the experience of shul so that they look forward to coming every Shabbat and holiday. We want our congregants to enjoy each others’ company, linger over Kiddush, laugh with one another, and be comfortable in our shul. For our members, we want to be the first place that they think of when it is time to celebrate a simchah, and the community they turn to in times of loss.
Worship – We are a place where Jews may worship together in an atmosphere that maximizes our ability to forge a relationship with G-d. Our community embraces spiritual, melodic prayer, from a Carlebach-style Kabbalat Shabbat, to festive holiday celebrations, and daily prayer.
Learning – We are deeply committed to study and education, and there are opportunities every week to learn with our rabbis and visiting scholars.
Chesed – We are dedicated to the ideals of bikur cholim (visiting the sick) and g’milut chasadim (doing good deeds), and the Ramath Orah Team of Chesed (ROTC) can often be seen visiting sick or elderly members of the community. We seek to integrate Chesed programs into the life of our community and to involve as many of our congregants as we possibly can in our Chesed programs.
Zionism – As a Jewish community, we are strongly committed to the State of Israel and encourage advocacy and activism. We believe that the creation of the State of Israel marks the beginning of the fulfillment of G-d’s promise to the Jewish people and foreshadows our ultimate redemption. Accordingly, the preservation of the Jewish State and the ability of its citizens to live in peace, safety and prosperity is a goal of our congregation, one which we not only pray for, but contribute our time and resources to help achieve.
Engagement – All members of our community are active participants, . While everyone is welcome to attend davening in our main sanctuary on holidays, we also host a monthly women’s prayer group and weekly Children’s Shabbat programs.
We are not judgmental of our fellow Jews, and we welcome all to our synagogue and accord honors in our services without regard to affiliation or non-affiliation of our members and guests. Ramath Orah seeks to be at the forefront of mutual tolerance and respect for Klal Yisrael. Ramath Orah, moreover, does not turn away anyone, either from participation in shul activities or from receiving honors, because of an inability to pay dues or make contributions.
We aspire to be a synagogue that makes every visitor, from the moment he or she enters our Shul, feel welcome and appreciated. We want every congregant to feel a personal obligation to reach out not only to visitors and new members, but to their fellow congregants. Click here to learn more about our hospitality program.