Synagogues of Queens: The Reform Temple of Forest Hills


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SPIRITUAL LEADER: Rabbi Mayer Perelmuter has been the rabbi of this synagogue since 1997. He places a “High value on learning, enhancing spirituality, building community and performing acts of kindness.”

LOCATION YEARS: The Reform Temple of Forest Hills is a consolidation of four synagogues brought together in 1994; Temple Isaiah, Temple Sinai, Congregation Beth Hillel and Temple Emanu-El. The building is the previous home of Temple Sinai and was built in the early 1950s.

CONGREGATION SIZE: “The congregation is about 350 families. Around 1200 members,” said Perelmuter.

CONGREGATION UNIQUENESS: “It is a very welcoming congregation,” said Perelmuter. “It prides itself on being inclusive. We welcome Jews of all walks of life and place a high value of engagement of people. Because of our health of attitude and strength of commitment we have grown.”

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT OF SERVICE: Perelmuter believes that the most memorable moment of service is during the High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). “The entire community comes together to reflect on the past year; where we are at and where we are going,” Perelmuter said. “We try to see how we can partner with God and strengthen the community.”

LARGEST TURNOUT: According to Perelmuter, the largest turnout is during any one of the Jewish holidays such as the High Holidays, Hanukkah, Purim and Passover.

WORDS OF INSPIRATION: “Our life is a gift from God. Everything we have is a gift,” said Perelmuter. “We should try to live our lives in recognition that God has blessed our lives with sanctity and we should try to be the best human beings we could be.”

MOST POPULAR GATHERING SPOT: Perelmuter explained that the synagogue building is the most popular gathering spot for his congregation. “We believe every place in our building is holy. The whole building is a classroom…where we can learn,” indicated Perelmuter. “There is no one space. [The building] is where we connect as a community.”

UPCOMING EVENT: Over the summer The Reform Temple of Forest Hills in conjunction with the Anti-Defamation League, will host a group of Catholic educators for a Shabbat. Also, starting in the fall, the synagogue will host “First Friday of the Month Special Intergenerational Family Shabbat Services” where congregants of all ages are encouraged to participate in the service and join the preceding dinner.

THE REFORM TEMPLE OF FOREST HILLS

71-11 112th Street, Forest Hills, NY 11375

Services: Shabbat service – Friday nights at 8 p.m., Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m.

Contact: 718- 261- 2900

Synagogue website: rtfh.org