To invite every Jew to worship, study and participate in our community.
For more than a century, Congregation Sons of Israel has been a bedrock institution of Torah and Jewish life for the Lehigh Valley. From the Russian, Polish and German immigrants of the late 19th century to the professors and professionals and service workers who compose much of today’s Lehigh Valley Jewish community, the members of Congregation Sons of Israel have always viewed this synagogue as a home for Prayer, Torah study and Community.
Today, Congregation Sons of Israel continues to serve those three goals of Prayer, Torah study and Community:
We are the only synagogue in the Lehigh Valley and along the NJ/PA I-78 corridor to offer daily morning and evening minyan. We offer weekly Shabbat morning babysitting as well as programs for children as young as two years old, preparing them for the synagogue experience.
We offer a broad spectrum of classes, from Jewish History and Bible to Talmud to Kabbalah, as well as audio classes available on our website. We offer creative programming for children of all ages, from our “Torah Lishma Club” on Sunday mornings to NCSY activities for junior high and high school students.
Here is a sampling of our thought-provoking adult education offerings:
- Daf Yomi – newbies and veterans alike gather around coffee and cake to grapple with the intricacies and nuances of the Talmud. Be prepared to laugh, argue with rabbis, living and dead, and come away with a deeper understanding of what and why we do as Jews.
- Beginner’s Gemara by Dr. Henry Grossbard – an excellent primer for developing the analytical tools necessary for in-depth study of the Talmud. Dr. Grossbard, a dynamic and erudite scholar in his own right, helps students understand argument-behind-the-argument, using Rashi, Tosafos and commentaries.
- Issues in Contemporary Halacha – Applying the Halachah to new situations is one of the most fascinating aspects of Jewish life. Join Rabbi Wilensky as he takes Halachah from the weekly Torah portion and brings it to bear on some of the most pressing issues of our time.
- The Evolution of Jewish Prayer – Rabbi Wilensky takes this class through time and space as he traces the development of Tefillah from antiquity to modern times.
- Explorations in Shoftim (Judges) by Mrs. Abby Weiner Wednesday 7 p.m. – One of the shul’s most popular classes and a continuation of last year’s Explorations in Yehoshua, this class provides in-depth study of the text, and provides critical historical context for the events that follow in Jewish history.
- Where Christianity & Judaism Differ – Have you ever had to explain Judaism to non-Jewish co-workers? With sensitivity and tact, Rabbi Wilensky discusses both the commonalities and divergences between the Jewish and Christian faith systems.
- Husbands Anonymous – Calling all wives! Send your husbands to this class!! Guidance from our beloved rabbi on how to become more attentive, caring sensitive partners, and how to strengthen and deepen our spousal relationships in the context of Torah.
All classes given by Rabbi Wilensky unless otherwise noted.
We also present world-class scholars in residence, and we frequently team up with other institutions, such as Project Yachad and the Maimonides Society of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, to offer coordinated programming. You can find the very latest of our innovative programs plus much more information at www.sonsofisrael.net.
We support a strong Chesed committee of volunteers who work to help out in times of need, and a Social committee that keeps our community strong through popular social events. Our membership also provides the volunteer staff needed to maintain community institutions, including the Lehigh Valley Kashrut Commission, the Lehigh Valley Community Mikvah, the Allentown Chevra Kadisha and the Allentown Eruv. Our Youth have Jewish social activities through Bnei Akiva and NCSY programming.
Congregation Sons of Israel serves a membership of approximately 225 families, as well as the broader Jewish community. One of our unique hallmarks is our commitment to reaching all Jews; we regularly advertise our programs to the entire community, and we design our classes as well as our davening to be a positive experience for all, regardless of background and education. We have achieved great success in this mission; Jews of all backgrounds frequent our synagogue, and at least 25% of our membership identifies itself as something other than Orthodox, and yet comes to us for davening and learning and community.
Our synagogue has been led by Rabbi David Wilensky since September of 2009. Rabbi Wilensky, ordained by Yeshiva University’s RIETS and a member of the Rabbinical Council of America, is the latest in a long line of rabbis to uphold our tradition of outreach and education. With Rabbi Wilensky’s commitment to creative programming and his warm approach to newcomers, we have seen continued growth and vibrancy in our congregation. Our lay board works with the Rabbi to steer the synagogue in a positive direction while overseeing our financial viability.
Friday night: Sunset
Saturday morning: 9 AM
Mornings: 6:45 AM Mon. & Thurs, 6:30 AM Tues., Wed. & Fri, 8:30 AM Sun.
- Shabbat morning babysitting and programming
- Craft projects (ages 4-7)
- Junior Congregation Shabbat morning (grades 3-8)
- NCSY (grades 5-12)
- Daf Yomi - Su-Fr 7:30 a.m.; Shabbat 1:45 p.m. before mincha
- Beginner’s Gemara by Dr. Henry Grossbard – Shabbat morning 8 a.m.
- Issues in Contemporary Halacha – Shabbat, 45 minutes before mincha
- The Evolution of Jewish Prayer – Tuesday 10:45 a.m. (JCC)
- Explorations in Shoftim (Judges) by Mrs. Abby Weiner Wednesday 7 p.m.
- Where Christianity & Judaism Differ – Thursday 10:45 a.m. (JCC)
- Husbands Anonymous – monthly
[All classes given by Rabbi Wilensky unless otherwise noted]
Fully stocked library
Chesed and Hospitality Committee (helps people in times of specific need with meals, errands and more)