National Council of Young Israel
The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) or Young Israel (in Hebrew: Yisrael Hatza'ir, ישראל הצעיר), is a synagogue-based Orthodox Judaism organization in the United States with a network of affiliated "Young Israel" synagogues. NCYI was founded in 1912 by rabbis Israel Friedlander and Mordecai Kaplan to combat the wave of assimilation by Jews into secular American society. Today it is a national coordinating agency for nearly 150 Orthodox congregations of nearly 25,000 member families throughout the United States and Canada.
Early in the 20th century, American Jews were striving primarily for social and economic advancement, often leaving their religious observances behind. Because most jobs required working on Saturdays, observance of the Jewish Sabbath was rare, as were many other traditions.
The first Young Israel synagogue was established in 1913 on East Broadway, on Manhattan's Lower East Side. David Warshaw traces the origins of the new synagogue to the summer of 1913, when some members of the YI group were asked into a storefront shul (informal synagogue) (at 205 East Broadway) to complete a minyan, and much to their delight, were allowed to lead the service."
Today, NCYI serves as the national coordinating agency for nearly 150 Orthodox congregations of nearly 25,000 member families throughout the United States and Canada. NCYI also serves as a resource to its sister organization in Israel, entitled Yisrael Hatzair - "The Young Israel Movement in Israel", encompassing over 50 synagogues in Israel. It is a grass roots organization administrated on the congregational model, taking its direction from local and national lay leadership as well as rabbis and professional staff. Its socio-cultural outlook is strongly influenced by the Religious Zionist Movement, with strong support of Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people. Congregations belonging to NCYI are generally named "Young Israel of...", followed by the name of the city or neighborhood.
NCYI is a not-for-profit service organization, as defined by their 501(c)(3) status. The main headquarters is located in Manhattan, with regional offices in Florida, California, New Jersey and Jerusalem.
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In 2006, after lengthy litigation, Young Israel sold its 3 West 16th Street national headquarters and moved its small staff to leased office space in lower Manhattan; the sale of the building was the subject of litigation by what was then the Young Israel of Fifth Avenue, which was based in the building and would have been evicted if the sale went through as planned by the National Council. The organization had been subject to an investigation by then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's Charities Bureau. According to The Forward: "New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, renowned for his jousts with the titans of corporate America, recently saw his own office tied in knots and thrown into turmoil during a three-year investigation into a small Orthodox synagogue organization. The group, the National Council of Young Israel, came under scrutiny in 1999 after applying for a mortgage on a nursing home it owned and operated in a New York City suburb.
NCYI further alienated some of its members by declaring that no women or converts to Judaism could serve as President of any synagogue affiliated with NCYI. According to the Jewish Star, the rabbi of a synagogue with a female president was threatened by NCYI's leadership. In response to President Barack Obama's endorsement of same sex marriage on May 9, 2012, the NCYI issued a statement expressing disappointment in leaders that support same sex marriage and called the concept of same sex marriage "antithetical to the religious principles that we live by". A petition that in turn expresses disappointment in both the NCYI and the Orthodox Union has been circulating on change.org, and has received over 1000 signatures within 24 hours.
In June 2013, Rabbi Perry Tirschwell was appointed National Director.
Young Israel Council of Rabbis
The Young Israel Council of Rabbis is the rabbinic arm of the organization.
Two components of the organization are the Women's League and the InterCollegiate Council (ICC).
Young Israel of Brookline
Young Israel of Brookline is located in Brookline, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe described it as, “an influential synagogue described as modern or centrist Orthodox.”. It is known for the high level of Jewish scholarship among both the men and women of the congregation.
The congregation is particularly noted for the architecture of its building. In 1994 the synagogue building suffered a severe fire, caused by a deteriorated electrical panel  In 1996, the Young Israel dedicated a new building designed by Graham Gund. The building has a wrought-iron menorah sculpted by David Tonnesen. Instead of stained glass, the building uses art glass that has the effect of scattering rainbows over the congregation. Notable members include Aaron Feuerstein  and Jeff Jacoby. Rabbi Saul Berman is a former rabbi of the Young Israel. The current rabbi is Rabbi Dr. Gershon C. Gewirtz.
Young Israel of Cherry Hill
Young Israel of Cherry Hill is an Orthodox Jewish synagogue located in Cherry Hill, NJ, USA. It was established in April 1996 by approximately 14 Jewish families residing in Cherry Hill. During its first year of existence services were held in the homes of a number of its founding members. In its second year of existence a permanent building was purchased at 817 Cooper Landing Road, Cherry Hill, NJ. Rabbi Y. Teichman was appointed as the first rabbi of the synagogue.
- For Kaplan and Friedlander founding Young Israel, see:
- S. Daniel Breslauer (1994). Mordecai Kaplan's Thought In a Postmodern Age. Scholars Press. p. 25.
- Daniel Judah Elazar (1995). Community and Polity: The Organizational Dynamics of American Jewry. Jewish Publication Society. p. 133.
- Daniel Judah Elazar, Rela M. Geffen (2000). The Conservative Movement in Judaism: Dilemmas and Opportunities. State University of New York Press. p. 24.
- Bernard Melvin Lazerwitz (1998). Jewish Choices: American Jewish Denominationalism. State University of New York Press. p. 19.
- Benny Kraut, "Jewish Survival in Protestant American", in Jonathan D. Sarna (ed.) (1998). Minority Faiths and the American Protestant Mainstream. University of Illinois Press. p. 33.
- Jeanette Freidman, "Young Israel", in Fred Skolnik, Michael Berenbaum (eds.) (2007), Encyclopaedia Judaica, Volume 21, Macmillan Reference USA in association with the Keter Publishing House. p. 402.
- Young Israel:About Us Accessed December 5, 2007.
- Kaufman, David. Shul with a Pool: The "synagogue-center" in American Jewish History, Brandeis University Press, University Press of New England, 1999, ISBN 0-87451-893-8, pp. 202-203.
- Wakin, Daniel J. "A House Divided, and for Sale; Real Estate Splits Jewish Group and Synagogue", The New York Times, June 20, 2003. Accessed October 11, 2007.
- Wakin, Daniel J. "Metro Briefing|New York: Manhattan: Synagogue Wins Reprieve", The New York Times, September 11, 2003. Accessed October 11, 2007.
- "Popper, Nathaniel. "Probe of Shul Group Had N.Y. Crimebuster’s Office in Tangles", The Forward, December 9, 2005. Accessed October 11, 2007.
- Leaking Ship: Young Israel on the Rocks Yeshiva University Commentator December 3, 2007 
- June 22, 2010
- Young Israel Statement On Same Gender Marriage
- US Jews Resent Bid To limit Legitimacy. ( James L. Franklin, Boston Globe, December 17, 1988)
- Living Their Faith: Modern Orthodox Jews are blending best of both worlds. (Richard Higgins, Boston Globe, August 19, 2000
- A synagoge debates a woman's place as Young Israel emerges from the ashes, its members reconcile age-old traditions with modern ways. (Irene Gillis, Boston Glob, May 18, 1995
- Architecture for the Gods by Michael J. Crosbie, Images Publishing Group, Page 84
- Synagogue will be rebuilt, members say Brookline fire's origin questioned. (Matthew Brelis, James Vaznis, Boston Globe, January 12, 1994
- Synagogue fire is traced to faulty circuit breaker (Matthew Brelis, Boston Globe, January 14, 1994)
- Fire-damaged Brookline temple reopens. (Karen Avenaso, Boston Globe, November 18, 1996)
- Architectural Glass Art
- How 'doing what's right' made mill owner a workers' hero. (Elinor J. Brecher, Miami Herald, September 21, 1996)
- Kraut, Benny "A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy, and American Judaism" American Jewish History - Volume 86, Number 3, September 1998, pp. 357–363
- Kornreich Yaakov; Saibel, Joel; Hart Strober, Deborah; Strober, Gerald " (2012). Young Israel at 100: An American Response to the Challenges of Orthodox Living 1912-2012. NCYI. ISBN 978-1475157925.