Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale is a Modern Orthodox synagogue in the residential Riverdale neighborhood of New York City. The congregation was founded in 1971, Rabbi Avi Weiss has led it since 1973. The congregation is known for its outreach and adult education programs as well as pioneering women’s participation in prayer and Torah study.
The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale was founded in 1971 in a boiler room of the Whitehall Building off the Henry Hudson Parkway by thirty-five families, former members of the Hebrew Institute of University Heights in the Bronx who had moved to Riverdale. In 1973, Avi Weiss, who had finished his training at Yeshiva University a few years earlier, became the synagogue's rabbi. The congregation met at the Whitehall apartment building in the early years, before constructing a permanent building in 1980.
The Hebrew Institute became known for its activism in the campaign to free Soviet Jewry and in defense of Israel.
The congregation has grown to 850 families, and has served as a platform for Weiss’s rabbinical advocacy. The Jerusalem Post has called the Hebrew Institute “a training ground for young Modern Orthodox rabbis who go on to take over congregations of their own.”
- Olitzky, Kerry M.; Raphael, Marc Lee. The American Synagogue: A Historical Dictionary and Sourcebook, Greenwood Press, 1996, p. 224. online
- Weiss, Avi. Women at Prayer: A Halakhic Analysis of Women's Prayer Groups, KTAV Publishing House, 2001 p. xii.
- Pogrebin, Abigail (July 11, 2010). "The Rabbi and the Rabba". nymag.com. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
- Jerusalem Post, May 24, 2002.