Community Synagogue Goes Home Again
After nearly 14 months of residence at Rye Presbyterian Church, Community Synagogue of Rye members marched from the church on Milton Road to the synagogue on Forest Avenue September 30. The procession marked the return of the Torahs, the sacred scrolls of Judaism, to the ark in the Synagogue’s sanctuary after a major renovation.
“We are so grateful to the Presbyterian Church for making us feel so welcome — and thrilled to be home,” said Sue Zeitlin, president of the synagogue’s Board of Trustees. “This was truly an example of cooperation between two houses of worship, a mitzvah that represents how people can work together in this world.”
In June of 2017, Community Synagogue members made a mini-exodus to set up camp at Rye Presbyterian. Synagogue congregants needed a place to worship, and RPC opened its doors. In an interfaith agreement between the two houses, Synagogue congregants used the Presbyterian church chapel for most of its Friday night and Saturday morning services. B’nei mitzvah and funerals were held at neighboring synagogues Knesses Tifereth Israel in Port Chester or Congregation Emanu-El of Rye.
“Community Synagogue and Rye Presbyterian Church have long had a special partnership,” noted Senior Rabbi Daniel Gropper. Several years back, members from the two houses of worship traveled to Israel together.
“We have always found fellowship and common ground with the Presbyterian Church as we both see ourselves to be forces for good in the community,” Gropper added.
“It was a joy to welcome Community Synagogue during this construction period, and to share our faith home with their congregation.” said Rye Presbyterian co-Pastor Dr. John Miller.
The New York City based award-winning architectural firm Rogers Partners designed the new space. “We wanted to create a modern, dynamic, and engaging environment that matches the spirit of this community,” Zeitlin said.