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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation Rededicates Sanctuary And Returns To Home At Cultural Center After 3 Year Hiatus Due To Flooding And Superstorm Sandy

According to the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation (RIJC):

After a more than three-year hiatus, the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation (RIJC) has returned to the space where, for 19 years, it held Shabbat worship services, High Holiday services and Hebrew school classes.

A re-dedication ceremony held on Sunday, August 30, 2015, was conducted by Rabbi Leana Moritt, spiritual leader of the RIJC, and attended by members of the congregation, its board and guests, including representatives of local religious and cultural organizations.

Rabbi Leana Moritt (holding a Torah scroll), pauses before leading RIJC Board member Judith Berdy (near left) and congregants of the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation, as well as Fr. Gerardo Ramirez (left), leader of the local Episcopal Church, into the re-dedicated sanctuary.

Image From RIJC

The room designated for use as a sanctuary, plus an adjacent classroom, located in the section of 548 Main Street on Roosevelt Island known as the Cultural Center, were both destroyed by a flood from an upstairs apartment in the building in July 2012. Superstorm Sandy further damaged the rooms in October 2012.

Repairs to and renovations of all damaged rooms of the Cultural Center were paid for by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, which manages the facility.

"We are gratified to see how much we have grown and come together as a community over the last three years as wandering Jews in temporary homes. Now that we have come home, we will be better able to focus our attention on one another, on what makes us tick as a community and on nurturing the qualitative quotient of RIJC experiences," said Rabbi Leana Moritt, spiritual leader of the RIJC since 2007.

"The Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation is thrilled we will be able to again hold High Holiday services and our other activities in our long-time home. This re-dedication of the sanctuary means that we will be celebrating many Shabbat services, chagim and simchas in the newly re-dedicated room," added Nina Lublin, President of the RIJC.

The Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation The Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation (RIJC) is an egalitarian, progressive, friendly and fun synagogue first founded 1976, and formally organized in 1983, serving the residents of Roosevelt Island. Our congregation is dedicated to providing Jewish spiritual support and renewed Jewish knowledge to all who seek it, as well as a strong Jewish community on and for the Island. For more information, please visit