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'Welcoming Year' Program Integrates New Members At Scarsdale Synagogue

Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El have implemented the Welcoming Year program for new members.
Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El have implemented the Welcoming Year program for new members. Photo Credit: Facebook

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El have implemented the Welcoming Year program, a new program to enable followers of Jewish faith who are not currently members to enjoy full membership for one year without having to pay full membership dues.

A new member will be asked to give a “gift from the heart” of any amount as a sign of sincere interest in exploring the membership experience, beginning with attendance at the High Holy Days services in the fall.

The Welcoming Year membership will admit new congregants to any and all High Holy Days activities, including morning services on the first day of Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 14) and Yom Kippur (Sept. 23), as well as Kol Nidre on the evening before that Day of Atonement. Each Welcoming Year family/individual will have a “Welcoming Partner” – an existing member family or individual with similar background and interests where possible, to invite the new members to various events and help them to integrate into the Synagogue community.

“At the heart of the Welcoming Year initiative is our confidence that, given the opportunity to truly sample the experience of being part of our community, new members will choose to get involved and become vital participants in our Synagogue family for many years to come," said Donna Vitale-Ruskin, the Synagogue’s president. 

"It’s an investment – both in these prospective new members and in our Synagogue’s future – as we continue to chart our course and build our community in ways that address the spiritual, social, educational and community needs of all who wish to be part of our synagogue family," she continued.

Other opportunities may include an informal private breakfast or lunch with the Rabbi, the Cantor, the congregation’s president or another leadership volunteer of their choice; a special dinner with other Welcoming Year members; and participation in a “Sharing Shabbat” dinner at a member’s home.

The Synagogue said its Welcoming Year membership program reflects the congregation’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, and is open to people who are unaffiliated with a congregation, interested in exploring affiliation with a new congregation, and former members of Scarsdale Synagogue before 2012. 

The Synagogue said new member applications are now being accepted. For further information, persons interested are invited to call Roberta Aronovitch, Executive Director, at 914-725-5175 or send an email to


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