Welcome To Kehilat Orach Eliezer
Kehilat Orach Eliezer traces its roots to 1983 when Rabbi Louis (Eliezer) Finkelstein z”l, former chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, became unable to leave his home to attend Shabbat and holiday services. At that time, a small group of people dedicated to the mitzvah of bikkur cholim (visiting the ill) and interested in serious davening (prayer) began to meet at his apartment. This practice continued for nearly eight years until Rabbi Finkelstein’s death in 1991. At that time, under the guidance of Rabbi David Weiss Halivni, the group decided to continue meeting in a new makom tefilah (place of prayer), the Jewish Home and Hospital for Aged on 106th Street, and with a new name, chosen in Rabbi Finkelstein’s memory.
Our minyan grew to the point where we had to find a larger space, and so in 1998 we moved to the American Youth Hostel at 103rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, while maintaining our relationship with the Jewish Home and our commitment to bikkur cholim and to community service generally. The Hostel’s management eventually decided not to rent to any religious organizations on a weekly basis, and so after 10 years at the Hostel, KOE moved our Shabbat davening to the Dorot building at 171 West 85th Street, just east of Amsterdam Avenue. KOE will continue to daven at the Youth Hostel on Yamim Noraim and some other holidays, and will continue to have its sukkah at the Hostel each year.
We would like to take this opportunity to tell you about our minyan:
- Kehilat Orach Eliezer is a serious minyan. We are committed to serious davening (free of conversation), sociability (a warm, friendly, welcoming atmosphere), sensitivity to women’s issues (within a halachic framework) and service to others (through community service projects).
- Kehilat Orach Eliezer is more than just a minyan. KOE is a vibrant community, committed to making everyone feel a part. Our hachnasat orchim (hospitality) program provides an opportunity for everyone to join in a Shabbat meal or to fulfill the mitzvah of hosting someone in their home. If you would like to participate as a host or as a guest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask someone during Kiddush.
- Kehilat Orach Eliezer does Chesed. We Staff a shift each week at the Ansche Chesed shelter with volunteers. For information about the shelter or to volunteer to staff it, please email email@example.com. In addition we participate as a community in one time events including blood drives, special programs at the Jewish Home & Hospital, providing meals for new parents, etc.
- Kehilat Orach Eliezer learns together. We host speakers and scholars-in-residence on Shabbatot, and hold additional learning programs throughout the year. We learn Tanach and celebrate the collective learning of the minyan by making a Siyyum Tanach. If you would like to give a dvar torah in schul on shabbat, please email firstname.lastname@example.org . For all other learning programs, please email KOE’s Learning Committee email@example.com.
- Kehilat Orach Eliezer is a group effort. There are a lot of ways to get involved with and to contribute to the KOE community, including giving divrei Torah, reading Torah, sponsoring a Kiddush, planning upcoming events, setting up for davening on Shabbat, etc. We are as spirited and active as our members choose to be! If you are interested in getting more involved with the community email firstname.lastname@example.org