Due to the ongoing national health crisis and constantly changing recommendations, we are making the effort to keep members of Adath Israel informed of how this is affecting ongoing synagogue services, events and other functions. Please click the link below for most recent services and events information. Thank you and stay safe.

Please click the link below for updated information on how you can join services via Zoom.

Adath Israel is a vibrant and welcoming egalitarian, Conservative congregation where Jews by birth or choice, interfaith families, traditional and non-traditional families celebrate our Jewish faith and heritage. We strive to meet the diverse spiritual, religious, educational and social needs of our members and to further the causes of the Jewish people in our community, the surrounding communities and the state of Israel.

We’re extremely pleased to announce that Rabbi Nelly Altenburger will be joining our congregation effective July 1, 2020.

Rabbi Altenburger was born and raised in Brazil and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Hebrew Language and Literature from the University of Sao Paulo.  She received a Master of Arts in Rabbinic Studies in 2004 from the Zeigler School of Rabbinic studies and was ordained in 2006.  Since her ordination she has been the Rabbi and Religious School Director at Congregation B’nai Israel in Danbury, CT.

Rabbi Altenburger and her husband, Mark, are the proud parents of four delightful children: Michaela, Elliott, Nathaniel and Ariella.  They are in the process of looking for a home in Middletown.

We all look forward to their arrival and are grateful to have something exciting to anticipate in these trying times.

Jonathan Shapiro, Congregation President

Sandra Beckman, Search Committee Chair

Dear friends,

I have had the privilege to know some of you through the daily zoom minyan, and I long for the day when I will be able to meet the Adath Israel community in person again. Knowing some of the friendly people of the daily minyan lets me see all of Adath Israel as friends and I want to share a few thoughts regarding Passover this year.

Why is this Passover different from any other Passovers?
On all other Passovers, when we say “all that are hungry come and eat” we can imagine that that is actually possible: to open our homes and hearts to the unknown poor in the street. On this Passover, we know that this is not true.

On all other Passovers, when we say “this is the bread of affliction” we can imagine that those are just words, that we are just reenacting for the sake of the children our affliction. On this Passover, we know that there is affliction all over the world.
On all other Passovers, when we say “we were slaves to Pharaoh and now we are free” we can pretend we are free people remembering being trapped. On this Passover we know we are trapped in our homes.

On all other Passovers, when we say the ten plagues, we don’t really think about them as realities in the world bringing fear and dread to us personally. On this Passover, we pray that it will pass over our own house, and over the house of those whom we love.

To make this Passover meaningful, we need first to admit its differences from all the other times we celebrated Passover. For many of us, Passover seder means gathering with lots of friends and family, sometimes making new acquaintances and friends. This is completely different this year, and even in those houses where the seder will be through zoom, we know that it is not the same. There is distance, loneliness, separation.

Even in the land of Goshen, as soon-to-be-ex-slaves, we were separated but together – in the process of becoming a people, we were finding our common core: smearing blood on the lintels, eating the lamb, matza and bitter herbs in haste, having our belongings all packed ready for the trip. All the families were cowering inside their houses, wanting to believe that all this man Moses was saying was true, hoping that another miracle would happen, barely believing that the last miracle had just happened.

Now, I want to venture, we are together but separated: our core is already there, since we know the story, our houses are ready without chametz, we have our haggadahs and our traditions, we will read words and ideas that connect us with our people. But we are physically apart. And some of us will be doing a seder of one.

“And if we are all wise, we still ask the questions” – or so says the Haggadah. And this year we add: even if we are all alone, we still ask the questions. To whom? To yourself and to the others you invite – if not by zoom, then by memory and imagination. Who would you invite to your seder if time and space were not concerns? To whom do you still hold questions? Moses? Maimonides? King David? David Kimchi? Nachmanides? Reb Nachman? Your grandmother? Your grandfather? Their parents?

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