Congregation Habonim is a vibrant neighborhood synagogue on the Upper West Side, just a block from Lincoln Center, that offers a haven of warmth and spiritual growth in a large and often anonymous city. Founded by German refugees who sought the solace of religious community in a new country, Habonim continues to be a synagogue that values its unique history. This is embodied through the emphasis on hachnasat orchim (the welcoming of guests) and the possibility for our members to develop strong relationships with the clergy and professional staff, and strong bonds of friendship with each other. The desire for a heimish, unpretentious environment of Talmud Torah (learning), Tefillah (prayer), and Kehillah Kedosha (sacred community) for all ages is a core value of our congregation.
Our community values Talmud Torah (the study of our tradition). Many members of our community participate in regular study, including classes such as our Weekly Torah Study and the Shabbat Beit Midrash. Adults with school-age children seek opportunities for family learning models that enable them to learn with their children and deepen the Jewish environment of their homes.
We also value tefillah (prayer) at Shabbat and holiday services. Shabbat services, for adults as well as for children, are participatory and draw from diverse segments of the community. Children’s services are an important element of communal life and provide both child-friendly tefillah and a sense of kehillah (community) for adult and child participants. Our Nursery School and our Religious School prepare children for participation in Shabbat services through the age-appropriate instruction of songs and tefillot.
Our congregants value our multi-generational kehillah, and seek to act on the value of L’dor va’dor, establishing connections within people of varied ages in the synagogue. The Habonim Sisterhood and the Rosh Chodesh Group serve important roles in this ongoing work. Community members value the warmth and closeness of relationships forged here, and cite the quality of the friendships forged at Habonim as a unique and special quality of this congregation.