Welcome to Congregation B’nai Avraham, the Orthodox synagogue in Brooklyn Heights. As the only Orthodox synagogue in the neighborhood, we serve a unique role in accommodating people with divergent religious backgrounds and at varying levels of observance. We welcome all!

Our goal is to increase the level of Jewish awareness, knowledge and observance by providing a warm, welcoming community with activities to appeal to people at all levels and with varying interests. We provide a daily morning and evening minyan and more than ten classes a week for adult learning, as well as beginner’s services and children’s services on Shabbat. Our Mei Menacham Mikvah is perhaps the most beautiful mikvah in the City.

Our membership includes both Ashkenazim and Sephardim, and our members’ first languages include Hebrew, Russian, Yiddush, French, Spanish and Arabic, as well as English.  Our spiritual leader, Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin, is a member of the Chabad movement, and during services most people use the RCA ArtScroll Siddur and the Stone Chumash, although other Siddurim and Chumashim are readily available.

Come to Saturday services and enjoy a sociable kiddush afterwards, or stop by at one of our many classes, or come to a Friday night dinner with singing, joy and a guest speaker. Whether you are a yeshivah graduate, baal teshuvah, considering conversion or totally new to matters Jewish, we welcome you, and you will find a comfortable place in our vibrant community.

– Stephen Rosen

Rabbi Raskin and Shternie
We love to brag about our spiritual leaders, Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin and Rebbitzin Shternie Raskin. The rabbi, a Chabad Chassid, adds a dimension of joy and spirituality to everything we do. He is the author of Letters of Light, and co-author of The Rabbi and the CEO. Shternie is the director of the *Kiddie Korner preschool,* the mother of six, and serves lunch or dinner at her home for 25 or 30 of her closest friends almost every Sabbath. You’re invited!

Rabbi Raskin’s latest book, By Divine Design, explores the kabbalah of letters in the Torah that are large, small, or missing. Split up in weekly parsha section, By Divine Design teaches the significance of these anomalies and is a great addition to any Judaic library. Buy it from Chabad here or on amazon By Divine Designhere.

A Culture of Sabbath Joy
Shternie’s not the only one serving lunch! Many of our members regularly invite guests for Sabbath lunch or dinner. You’re welcome!

Brooklyn Bridge Park is a big hangout for synagogue members on Sabbath afternoons, especially those with children. We extend the Sabbath joy by talking, visiting and playing board games.

Daily Services and Kaddish
We are the only neighborhood synagogue with *daily services* every morning and evening. If someone needs to say Kaddish we are here to help the mourner fulfill this important obligation.

Daily Classes
There’s always something happening at B’nai Avraham! Every day of the week Jewish education classes are taught for free in English.

If you want to pursue your Jewish education, there are no more excuses. See our *list of classes* for more particulars. Don’t see your topic on the list? Ask us!

History

In the Summer of 1988 Stephen and Penny Rosen, having recently become more observant, wanted to establish an orthodox Shabbat minyan. Together, they contacted Rabbi Shimon Hecht of B’nai Jacob in Park Slope, who supplied them with a Torah scroll, books, and a very young man to lead services and read from the Torah. Space was rented from a local theater group, signs posted, calls made, and the hope was that someone would show up for the scheduled Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. Initially, there were the Rosens, Drs. Walter and Brenda Molofsky, previous members with the Rosens of a local Conservative Synagogue, the young man (Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin) and Rabbi Raskin’s brother Shua, who was recruited to walk from Crown Heights with the Rabbi.

Amazingly enough, other people came so that there was a minyan, and the first and only Orthodox Synagogue in Brooklyn Heights began.

After Yom Kippur, holiday and Saturday morning services were held at the Rosen’s residence for the next nine months. The Congregation was officially founded as a religious corporation in December 1988. It was named B’nai Avraham in honor of Stephen Rosen’s grandfathers, both of whom had the Hebrew name “Avraham.” Rabbi Raskin noted that “B’nai Avraham,” literally, “children of Abraham” is the name given to converts, and the Congregation has had many converts among its members. After nine months at the Rosens’, the Congregation rented a parlor floor apartment on Clinton Street. As the landlady lived upstairs, the front door had to remain locked. Generally, Stephen Rosen waited at the front door to let people in. Latecomers tossed pebbles against a window and someone would come down to let them in.

We then moved to a commercial space at 100 Clinton Street, where at long last, we could leave the door open. Finally, in 1996, we moved to our current location at 117 Remsen Street, purchased from the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue (Reform), which acquired a larger building three doors away.

In 2000, the Mei Menachem Community Mikvah was built. It is one of the most beautiful and elegant Mikvahs in the New York area.

74 thoughts on “About Us

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