Israel at 70

At Central Synagogue

Israel at 70

Additional events will be added soon

If you will it – it is no dream.”

Theodor Herzl penned these words more than 50 years before the modern state of Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948. This year, we honor and celebrate the realization of this dream and Israel’s 70th year as a sovereign nation. To commemorate this milestone, we are excited to offer a series of enriching programs on Israel. We hope you will join us as we rejoice, reflect, learn, listen resiliently, and engage in meaningful conversations and experiences in the coming months.

New Paradigms for American Jewish Engagement in Israel

April 9 at 6:30 pm | Pavilion

Led by Israeli Reform Rabbi Naamah Kelman, this session will address how American Jews, particularly Reform Jews, can best engage with Israel. We will discuss Women of the Wall, the peace process, and the fight for religious pluralism. Rabbi Kelman will reflect on what is gained and lost from activism, public statements, and twinning projects. There is no fee, but registration is required.

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Resilient Listening: Bret Stephens on Israel@70

April 16 at 6:00 pm | Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, 125 East 85th Street New York, NY 10028

In partnership with UJA-Federation’s CommUnity, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, and Park Avenue Synagogue, join us for a conversation with Bret Stephens, Pulitzer Prize-winner and the The New York Times newest op-ed columnist. Stephens will discuss Israeli current events and their possible implication in the future. Both Rabbi Salth and Rabbi Auerbach will be in attendance. There is an $18 donation to the UJA required to attend the event.

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Central Goes to Camp: K-5 Family Retreat

Friday evening April 20 through Sunday morning April 22 | URJ Kutz Camp

We are excited to invite you to our first-ever Kindergarten through 5th-grade family retreat in Warwick, NY. All weekend we will celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday. We will have both classic camp activities and special Central activities. Babysitting will be available in the evenings so parents can enjoy some time to socialize and parents-only activities, like an Israel wine-tasting experience. Families will have an opportunity to connect with each other, Cantor Mutlu and his family, and our LCLJ educators in a fun and relaxing environment.
Click here to see an itinerary of the weekend.

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From the British Conquest to Trump’s Declaration: 100 Turbulent Years in Jerusalem

April 26 at 6:30 pm | Pavilion

Join Dr. Elan Ezrachi, the author of Awakened Dream - 50 Years of Complex Unification of Jerusalem, when he discusses key benchmarks and trends that shaped the country’s current political situation. We will also reflect on the place that Jerusalem holds in the hearts and minds of American Jews.

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Book Launch: Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

May 16 at 7:00 pm | Pavilion

Join Rabbi Buchdahl as she moderates a conversation between David Gregory, an author, journalist, and political analyst on CNN, and award-winning Israeli author Yossi Klein Halevi on Israel’s narrative and what it means for the future of the Jewish state. Prior to the discussion, we will host The Jewish Week and author Yossi Klein Halevi to celebrate the launch of his new book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor. Attempting to break the agonizing impasse between Israelis and Palestinians, the author directly addresses his Palestinian neighbors in this taut and provocative book. Halevi is the author of the acclaimed chronicle of Israel’s 1967 paratroopers who reclaimed the Western Wall, Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.

Registration Coming Soon

70 & Sababa: The 2018 Celebrate Israel Parade

Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 11:00am | Fifth Avenue, from 57th - 74th Street

Join your Central community and over 40,000 marchers from many other Jewish organizations as we celebrate Israel. This year’s theme is Sababa, an Israeli slang word that means “awesome!” More details will be provided closer to the event.

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Our People

Rabbi Ari S. Lorge

Rabbi Ari S. Lorge


Nicole Auerbach

Rabbi Nicole Auerbach

Director of Congregational Engagement

Meet our team »