Meriden's only synagogue looks to reach more people

WHERE WE WORSHIP

Temple B'Nai Abraham serves 170 families/ContributedMERIDEN – Meriden’s only synagogue, Temple B’Nai Abraham, is home to about 170 Jewish families and individuals and Rabbi Michael Kohn says the congregation is one of the friendliest he’s ever met.

“I wouldn’t want to be a rabbi of a synagogue I wouldn’t want to belong to,” he says, adding that the congregation reminds me of the warm one he grew up with in Philadelphia.

He came to B’Nai Abraham almost three years ago from New York.

The congregation was established in 1889 and built its first synagogue at 43 Cedar St. in Meriden for $5,000. Needing more room, in the 1950s the congregation moved to its current location at 127 E Main St.

Kohn says the congregation is trying new ways this year to get people more involved in the synagogue. They recently served a Moroccan dinner so people could learn about Jewish life in other regions and later this year they plan to possibly host Polish and Chinese dinners as well.

“It gets people involved,” he says, noting that congregation volunteers cook the meals. “It gives them an idea about other Jewish communities.”

For the next dinner, check the church calendar here.

Kohn says this year the congregation also hopes to enhance its religious education program and to organize more activities that will be accessible to the wider community. Many B’Nai Abraham members, Kohn says, are in assisted living homes. He hopes to be able to bring more services to them.

B’Nai Abraham is a conservative congregation affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Because it’s the only synagogue in the area, Kohn says they often team up with congregations in nearby towns for special programs.

Shabbat morning services are held at 9:30 a.m. and evening services are at 6:30 p.m. Services are also held Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 8 a.m.

For information call (203) 235-2581 or visit http://www.meridentemple.org/main.html.

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