Temple B'nai Abraham Profile
More than 165 years old, we are a congregation that takes our own independent path. We strive to be faithful to the teachings of the Torah, to be dedicated to the acquisition of Jewish knowledge, and to be committed to the well-being of the Jewish people in America, Israel and around the world. We are one of the largest historically independent congregations in the country.
With an innovative religious school and a vibrant pre-school, Temple B’nai Abraham is an energetic center of Jewish life in Livingston, Short Hills, West Orange, and neighboring communities. Our membership is multi-generational, dedicated to the synagogue, and committed to the social values and actions with which Temple B’nai Abraham has historically been associated.
Our congregation has approximately 800 member units, including individuals, couples and single and dual head of household families. We welcome interfaith and LGBTQ families and individuals.
The religious backgrounds of our members, many of whose families have been part of the congregation for generations, range from secular to Orthodox. The many couples who came to their marriages from differing Jewish or secular backgrounds find we offer a welcoming, comfortable middle ground.
Religious services and practices reflect an egalitarian respect for tradition, relevance to time and place, creativity, and musicality. We offer an extensive adult education, music, and lecture program to members and the community. We are well known as a public forum, where political candidates and other public figures from across the spectrum educate our congregation and the community on issues of current concern. Our teen and adult tikkun olam programs serve our most vulnerable populations locally as well as in the broader New York City area.
As a congregation: We are an extended family that offers connection, compassion and community for all.
As a synagogue: We worship God with joy, humility and meaning, maintaining our own rich traditions as we perpetuate those of our faith.
As members of a global people: We strive to manifest our dedication to Israel and fellow Jews everywhere in ways that instruct, influence and inspire.
As partners in an eternal covenant: We teach, share and practice the timeless values of Judaism to make a difference in our lives, our community and our world.
President: Jeffrey Klein
Senior Rabbi: David Z. Vaisberg, M.A.R.E., M.A.H.L.
Rabbi: Faith Joy Dantowitz, D.D.
Cantor: Jessica Epstein
Rabbi Emeritus: Clifford M. Kulwin, D.D.
Executive Director: Gail Milchman
Congregation founded: 1853
Current building constructed: 1973
Two days of chag are observed.
The Early School
Director: Debbie Aronson Ziering
Ages: Toddlers to 5 years
Jewish Learning Program
Director: Melissa Weiner
Grades: kindergarten to 7th grade
We have two B’nai Mitzvah most Shabbat mornings.
We have an active high school program and Teen Tikkun Olam Group.
BBYO meets at our Temple once or twice a month.
Kesher Connection provides outreach to more than 200 college students.
Over 2000 congregants attend High Holy Day Services.
The social hall can accommodate events for more than 300 people.
The Conservatory is a meeting and event space for approximately 130 people.
Our beautiful patio and gardens are used for services and celebrations.
B’nai Abraham Memorial Park
Located on Route 22, Union, NJ.
- Temple B’nai Abraham has benefited from strong clergy, professional staff, and lay leadership for many years, resulting in stable and robust membership and school enrollments.
- Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg is only our fifth senior rabbi in almost 120 years. We are proud to have enjoyed long-term rabbinic leadership.
- We are financially strong with ample fundraising, sizable endowments, and no debt.
- The Temple’s youth education programs are dynamic, active and very successful starting with our Early School and continuing with our Jewish Learning Program.
- We are located in an area with a large Jewish population that continues to attract young, Jewish families and provides us with stable membership.
- We have a sizable, committed congregation that is dedicated to the synagogue, a large, hardworking group of lay leaders, and lively Temple groups, including Sisterhood – the Women’s Connection, Men’s Club, Prime Time, Social Action Committee, and others.
- Our building is attractive, well-maintained, and offers a variety of flexible spaces that allow us to host a range of events and religious services.
- We have many multi-generational member families. We value our rich history.
- We have sufficient resources to provide Temple membership to those individuals or families with financial need.
- We are independent of the various synagogue movements, which allows us to evolve as we deem appropriate and continue to meet the needs of our changing Jewish community.