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.

K-5 Family Retreat

Friday evening May 3 through Sunday morning May 5 | The Edith Macy Conference Center

K-5 Retreat

We hope you will join us for our 2nd annual Kindergarten through 5th grade Family Retreat!

This year’s retreat will be held at a new location, The Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff, NY, from Friday evening, May 3 through Sunday morning, May 5. Families will enjoy camp-style activities in hotel-like accommodations!

We’ll share Shabbat, Havdalah, and a lot of camp activities! Highlights will include a campfire, sports, arts and crafts, prayer, study with clergy, and lots of bonding time with our community.

Together, we’ll celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day. Activities for kids and babysitting will be available in the evenings, so parents can enjoy some drinks and socializing time.

Register »

Dinner and Learning with Rachel Korazim: “The Other as a Mirror”

Wednesday, May 15, 6:00 pm | Lindenbaum Pavilion

Join us as we welcome extraordinary Israeli educator Rachel Korazim as she leads a discussion entitled “The Other as a Mirror.” Together we will read literary works of both Jews and Arabs, exploring images of Arabs in Jewish literature which will be juxtaposed with Arab Israeli literary works depicting a society in which they often feel disenfranchised. Through this lens we will begin to better understand the distance between these two peoples who share one land. Dinner will be at 6:00 pm and the discussion will begin at 6:30 pm.

Register »

Israel Story Live

Tuesday, May 21, 7:00 pm | 92nd Street Y (1395 Lexington Ave. between 91 and 92nd Street on Lexington)

Join us as we experience an evening of magical live radio with the creators of the award-winning radio show and podcast, “Israel Story” — known as “the Israeli ‘This American Life.’” With its engaging blend of live storytelling, music and dynamic multimedia, “Israel Story Live” provides a unique entry into the lives of Israelis that is sophisticated, nuanced, funny, and moving. We will gather after the show at a reception with the cast. This program is a part of Central’s celebration of Israel’s 71st year of independence. Tickets are $18. We expect this event to sell out, so be sure to purchase tickets now.


Show Description:

The Wall: A Look at the Barriers That Separate Us and Those That Bring Us Together

Everywhere we turn these days, it seems “the wall” is staring back at us. It protects and alienates; keeps people in and out; and can—as we all have seen—bring mighty governments to a standstill. With unusually splendid storytelling, live music, and stunning visuals, the “Israel Story” team will redefine the ubiquitous “W word.”

Following the event, join Rabbis Peter Rubinstein, Nicole Auerbach, Lori Koffman and Mo Salth for a free reception complete with Israeli wine and light snacks at the 92Y! All are welcome.

Buy tickets here.

If you’ve never listened to an “Israel Story” podcast, we recommend you click and listen to one or all three below. Each episode explores Israeli society through surprising and intimate stories:
1. A Better Place?

2. Oath of Blood

3. 1978

This show is presented in partnership with 92Y, Central Synagogue, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, Park Avenue Synagogue, Sutton Place Synagogue and UJA Federation.  Israel Story LIVE is a creative initiative of the Marlene Meyerson JCC.

Additional Shows: Sunday, May 19, 5:00 pm and Monday, May 20, 7:00 pm, at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.Visit for more information.

Central’s Great, BIG, Multi-Generational 10x Chai Trip to Israel

August 20-28, 2019

This trip is only open to Central Synagogue members and their families

Celebrate Central Synagogue’s Upcoming 180th Anniversary with Rabbi Buchdahl and 180 congregants on our congregational trip. It can be especially meaningful (and lots of fun) to experience Israel with your family. Whether you’ve been hesitant to go, or you’ve been several times, join us for this exhilarating experience.

Over 250 congregants expressed their interest in joining this trip, please be sure to register now to ensure your spot as we expect the trip will fill quickly. Multiple track options for first-timers and returners, families and adults, skeptics and seekers.

Register »

Our People

Rabbi Ari S. Lorge

Rabbi Ari S. Lorge


Nicole Auerbach

Rabbi Nicole Auerbach

Director of Congregational Engagement

Meet our team »