News & Upcoming Events


Congregation Habonim is delighted to welcome Rabbi Francine Roston as our Scholar in Residence, March 13-14, 2020. A co-founder and Rabbi with Glacier Jewish Community/B'nai Shalom, serving the Jewish community of the Flathead Valley in northwest Montana, Rabbi Roston is a teacher of the Community Resiliency Model, helping to create trauma-informed and resiliency-focused communities.

During her time with us over Shabbat, Rabbi Roston will join us for Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday, March 13, at 6:30 pm, followed by Shabbat Dinner for Families with Children 6th grade and up. At dinner, Rabbi Roston will present “Fighting Antisemitism: How to Build Our Communities in the Face of Hate,” sharing her story from winter 2016/2017 when her family and community were attacked by neo Nazi Cyber-Terrorists. Participants will leave dinner understanding the sacred nature of our Jewish identity and with strategies for maintaining resilience in the face of fear.

Click here by March 2 to sign up for the Shabbat Dinner for Families with Children 6th grade and up. ​​​​​​​

There is no charge for this event for 8 for 80 donors with children 6th grade and up. Please contact [email protected] to RSVP.

On Shabbat morning, March 14, Rabbi Roston will speak on “Building Spiritual Resilience In Challenging Times.” This D'var Torah will take place during our Shabbat morning prayer service.

Following Kiddush luncheon, Rabbi Roston will engage with the community in Q&A as part of our Shabbat Schmooze: Beit Midrash learning program. This begins in the Social Hall at 1 pm.


Monday, March 9 at 6:45 pm

Joyful Ma'ariv/Evening Service begins promptly at 6:45 pm, followed by the  Megillah reading. Come in costume! 

Quiet/lower sensory room available in the Social Hall during the Megillah reading, with live simulcast on screen. 

We invite everyone to bring a sealed box of uncooked pasta, like elbow macaroni or Wacky Mac (without the plastic window, to avoid breakage) to use as a grogger. Pasta boxes may then be left at Congregation Habonim for donation, in fulfillment of the Purim Mitzvah of Matanot L'Evyonim/Giving Gifts to the Poor.

To participate in delivering pasta boxes to the Westside Campaign Against Hunger, meet Rabbi Gelber in the Habonim lobby
on Tuesday, March 10 at 12:15 pm.

Sunday, March 8, 2 - 4 pm

Highlights include a bounce house, carnival games, arts & crafts, snacks, photo booth, and more!

Member Families Early Bird Pricing (by February 27):
Families of 3 or more: $54 
Families with one parent and one child: $34 
No charge for children 12 months and younger.

After 2/27 ticket prices go up to General Admission/Non-Member prices:
$25/child and $18/adult

Click here to purchase tickets

There is no charge for this event for 8 for 80 donors. Please contact [email protected] to RSVP.


We need adults and students in 5th grade andup to volunteer at our carnival. Click here to sign up.

Amidah: Young Holocaust Heroes
Following Shabbat dinner on March 6, Professor of History Lori Weintrob, Director of the Wagner College Holocaust Center, will speak about resistance and heroism in the ghettos, partisan units, labor and concentration camps. Sign-up details coming soon.

There is no charge for this event for 8 for 80 donors. Please contact [email protected] to RSVP.

The World Zionist Congress Elections offer Jews from around the world a voice in how millions of dollars are allotted. Our strong voice influences representation in the Jewish Agency for Israel and The Jewish National Fund among others. It is through the WZC elections that we affect Israeli lives and Jews in the diaspora through education regarding Israel.

MERCAZ, the official slate of the Conservative/Masorti Movement, looks for a time where all Jews are free to worship in Israel as they please, where women's voices are held up and not silenced, where men and women may pray together and women may read from Torah without fear or experience of intimidation or reprisal. MERCAZ needs our votes to in this year's election to influence the distribution of funds for synagogues and programming that teach pluralism and expand the sphere of egalitarian and respectful participation in robust Jewish life in Israel. 

Click here to vote for Slate #6 - representation that includes Congregation Habonim members Saul (Past President) and Mary Sanders, among others.  (Voting closes on March 11, 2020.) For $7.50 ($5 for those 25 and under), you can help nurture the Israel you wish to see. Every Jewish person from 18 years of age may vote to help insure delegates to the World Zionist Congress who value and stand for pluralism and democratic values. 

Be careful to register only one time as duplicate registrations will be discarded.

Book Club

The Habonim Book Club is open to all and will meet on Tuesday, March 3,  7 - 9 pm at Habonim.  

The next title is "" by Nathan Englander. It's a quick read so there's still time if you'd like to join us on March 3.

The following meeting is on April 22nd and we’ll read "The Flight Portfolio" by Julie Orringer -- please note this is a rather long book! 

Hope you can join in!


Volunteers have baked more than 2,000 Hamantashen!

Help us pack them up for delivery to our Habonim community on Sunday, March 1, 9 am - 2 pm

Please sign up for packing here: Hamantashen Baking 2020
If you have any questions, please contact Sisterhood at [email protected]

Mishloach Manot packages for all the Habonim community will be available for pick-up at Habonim starting Friday, March 6. 
Nursery school and Religious School students will receive their own package during school the week of March 2.

Next Tot Shabbat:

Friday, March 6


Come sing, dance, pray and celebrate Shabbat

5:15pm Tot Shabbat service

5:45pm Light dinner for the children


Upcoming Friday dates for Tot Shabbat:

April 3

May 1

June 5


Questions? Contact [email protected] or [email protected]

Women's Passover Seder and Dinner
Thursday, March 19

The women of Congregation Habonim, Or Olam, and Sutton Place Synagogue invite you to take a spiritual journey celebrating women!

Led by Rabbi Rachel Ain (Sutton Place Synagogue), Rabbi Lisa Gelber (Congregation Habonim),

and Cantor Shiree Kidron (Or Olam) 

6:30 pm meet & greet
7 pm Seder begins
Sutton Place Synagogue
​​​​​​​225 E. 51st Street
Click here to purchase tickets (by March 13)
Tickets are $50 per female guest (plus $1.50 credit card service charge)

Questions? Call Harriet Gussin at 212-682-4714 or email Evelyn Gomer at [email protected]


Sunday, May 17, 2020

The annual Habonim Gala is moving from Thursday, February 6, 2020 to Sunday, May 17, 2020. This move will help ensure that the Gala is a fitting commemoration of our 80th Anniversary, capping our year at a time that will allow more of our members to attend.

We look forward to seeing you at this fun and meaningful event, which recognizes and honors members of our community and helps support all of the wonderful programs offered by Habonim.


For registration and other information, contact Education Director Rina Cohen Schwarz at [email protected]

CLICK HERE  for the 2019-2020 Religious School Calendar

CLICK HERE for the 2019-2020 schedule of Shabbat Morning Youth Services at Congregation Habonim

CLICK HERE for the 2019-2020 Family Education Schedule (for 3rd - 7th Grade Families)

Religious School at Habonim 

Nursery School Admissions for 2019-2020 School Year


Meet Our Clergy, Staff and Board

Rabbi Lisa Gelber

We recently commemorated the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht, and the 80th anniversary of the founding of Congregation Habonim. Read Rabbi Gelber's sermon here.


Rabbi Lisa Gelber is among the rabbis featured in this October 11, 2019 article in the Forward: "Rabbis Share Their High Holiday Sermons." Click here to read.




Cantor Bruce Halev 






                   Rina Cohen Schwarz, Education                                               Director




Tina LobelTina Lobel, Nursery School Director





Ann Obsatz, Associate Nursery School Director




Welcome from President Richard Verner

On behalf of the members, clergy and staff of Congregation Habonim, I offer you a warm greeting.  We are the Jewish spiritual home to a caring, generous congregation that offers its members a broad variety of opportunities to learn, to share life-cycle events, and to participate in building our compassionate and welcoming community.  We encourage you to read more about us on our website and to visit us to learn about all that Habonim has to offer.

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