Pleasantville Community Synagogue was founded in the winter of 1997, Westchester, New York's first “trans-denominational” synagogue, dedicated to building an inclusive home in Northern Westchester for all those seeking a progressive, spiritually-based Judaism. Our members travel to us from as far away as Yonkers, Yorktown, and Stamford (CT), and their backgrounds range from across the full spectrum of liberal Judaism: Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, and Renewal. Our emphasis on what we call “Joyful Judaism” was profiled in “Jewish Week” (see Curing The God Talk Allergy).
Our rabbi, Mark Sameth, led Shabbat services at the newly-formed Pleasantville Community Synagogue for the first time in the spring of 1997, and became the community’s first rabbi upon his ordination from seminary in the spring of 1998. The New York Times hailed the “lusty singing and dancing” of Rabbi Mark’s joyous musical services, reminiscent of his years at New York City’s acclaimed Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. Rabbi Mark is featured in Sid Schwarz’s landmark book Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue.
Our Hebrew School is under the direction of Israeli-born Michal Solomon, a long-time educator and religious-school principal in Westchester County. The school is highly nurturing, dedicated to encouraging the children to feel that their synagogue community is an extension of home. The children are instructed in Jewish history, holidays, prayer, and ethics, and are exposed, as well, to the beauty and joy of our tradition through art projects and music.
Shabbat and Holiday services are held at the synagogue, located at 219 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, except High Holiday services which are held at the nearby Rosenthal JCC. Shabbat services are Friday nights at 7:15 pm, and Saturday mornings at 9:00 am. We hold a monthly Tot Shabbat service (for those under 5), a twice-a-month Children’s Service (for those under 9), and a monthly Family Education Shabbat (for those 9 and older).