THE BRONX (PIX11) – The Khal Adath Yeshurun Synagogue on Cruger Avenue in the Bronx is struggling to survive.
Russell Wiener, president of the synagogue, said they grapple with maintaining free weekly Shabbat services and meals.
“Against all odds, we’re still here,” Wiener said. “People gave us up for dead like a dozen years ago, yet we still manage to open up for every Jewish Sabbath.”
The synagogue used to tend to 1,000 people, but the former room now holds storage. Services currently take place in a small adjacent room – which used to be the spillover room – where now only maybe 15 people show up every week.
Rabbi Aaron Ravitz said they desperately need financial help to uphold the synagogue in a more established way.
“Books we have,” Rabbi Ravitz said. “You see, we have plenty of books, but what we need is the financial resources. We also need, especially more than the financial resources. We need the people.”
They need people to attend so they can secure a minyan every week, a religious obligation of 10 men required for Jewish worship.
“Unfortunately, that number is drifting,” Wiener said.
The orthodox congregation is one of the oldest in the borough, which was founded in the south Bronx in 1913 before relocating to Pelham Parkway.
With the High Holy days approaching, they will not be charging for services or meals.
They have the shofar, or a ram’s horn in English, ready to sound for the Jewish new year along with apples and honey.
“We take apples, and we put honey on them in order to symbolize to us that the year should be a good year, a sweet year,” Rabbi Ravitz added.
They hope people will show up for the holidays so they can carry on the legacy of the men and women who came before them.
“Basically, to help us going to survive for another hundred years or so,” Wiener said.
Rosh Hashanah is a two-day holiday that starts on Sunday night, so they welcome anyone to celebrate at the synagogue.
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