Congregation B'nai Amoona

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Congregation B'nai Amoona
Basic information
Location 324 South Mason Road
Creve Coeur, Missouri, United States
Geographic coordinates 38°39′03″N 90°28′42″W / 38.650717°N 90.478243°W / 38.650717; -90.478243Coordinates: 38°39′03″N 90°28′42″W / 38.650717°N 90.478243°W / 38.650717; -90.478243
Affiliation Conservative Judaism
Country United States of America
Year consecrated 1882 (135 years ago) (1882)
Status Active
Leadership  • Rabbi: Carnie Shalom Rose
 • Assistant Rabbi: Ari Kaiman
 • Rabbi: Josef Davidson
 • Adjunct Rabbi: Barry R. Friedman
 • Rabbi Emeritus: Bernard Lipnick
 • Cantoral Designate: Sharon Nathanson
 • Executive Director: Michael Samis
 • President: Michael Rosenblatt [1]
Website bnaiamoona.com
Architectural description
Groundbreaking 1981 (36 years ago) (1981)
Completed 1986 (31 years ago) (1986)

Congregation B'nai Amoona is an egalitarian Conservative synagogue, located at 324 South Mason Road in the American city of Creve Coeur, Missouri.

Sometime in 1882 a few members of Sheerith Israel, St. Louis's largest Orthodox congregation, left to form a new congregation which, by 1884 was worshiping under the guidance of Rabbi Arron Levy. In January 1885, Rabbi Levy was succeeded by 26-year-old Rabbi Adolph Rosentreter, newly arrived from Berlin. The first public notice of the new congregation appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on August 15, 1884, as follows:

A concert for the benefit of the Rev. Aaron Levy, the Jewish rabbi whose congregation seceded recently from Sheerith Israel Church, will be given at Druid's Hall, August 17. The congregation now worships regularly at Pohlman's Hall Broadway and Franklin Avenue, under the name B'nei Emounoh which means "Sons of Faith".[2]

Since those days B'nai Amoona has evolved from a small Orthodox congregation of primarily German-speaking members into one of the most prominent, conservative congregations in the United States.

Led by Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose, as of 2005 the synagogue is associated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.[1]

Congregational history[edit]

1882 - breaking off[edit]

1882 - 1888 rented halls
1885 - 1913 Rabbi Adolph Rosentreter
1888 - 1906 13th & Carr
1893 - B'nai Amoona Cemetery established

Garrison & Lucas[edit]

1903 - 1911 Hazzan Friedman
1906 - 1919 Garrison and Lucas

Vernon and Academy & Rabbi Halpern[edit]

1917 - 1962 Rabbi Halpern
1919 - 1914 Academy and Vernon
1920 - 1960 Hazzan Gowseiow
1930 Men's Club founded
1945 - 1949 Washington Avenue converted office space

Washington and Trinity[edit]

1948 State of Israel founded
1949 - 1985 Washington and Trinity
1949 USY founded

Rabbi Lipnick[edit]

1951 - 2010 Rabbi Bernard Lipnick (emeritus)
1969–present Hazzen Leon Lissek (emeritus)

Mason Road[edit]

1986 Mason Road
1991 - 2003 Rabbi Eric Cytryn
1998 - 2003 Cantor Robert Lieberman
2003–Present Cantorial Designate Sharon Nathanson
2005–Present Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose

B'nai Amoona today[edit]

Today, the congregation is a fully egalitarian Conservative synagogue where spiritual experiences, educational opportunities and warm fellowship are the lifeblood of this congregation.

Synagogue life features a Minyannaires program which guarantees Minyan twice daily, in the morning and evening. Shabbat services are especially welcoming as there are at least three services to choose from, each week: The Family Service geared toward families and children up to second grade; Junior Congregation for third through sixth graders; the Learner's Service as well as the Traditional Shabbat Morning Service in the sanctuary.

Children in kindergarten through twelfth grade attend the B'nai Amoona Religious School which combines Hebrew and religious studies in an integrated program which meets twice weekly. The Early Childhood Center offers programs for infants through pre-kindergarten. The Al Fleishman Day Camps, B'nai Ami and Ramot Amoona, are modeled after Camp Ramah and keep children in preschool through sixth grade busy all summer with a nurturing innovative Jewish learning experience. The B'nai Amoona United Synagogue Youth (BAUSY) is a regionally award-winning chapter offering programs for children beginning in the third grade all the way up to twelfth grade. B'nai Amoona and Solomon Schechter Day School share a special relationship as they are housed on the same campus.

Adult education is conducted with classes on Wednesday evening, as well as Sunday and Wednesday mornings. Topics change often availing the program to a wide variety of interests. There are also scholar-in-residence programs.

Auxiliary groups are active at B'nai Amoona. Sisterhood and Men's Club have programs throughout the year. The Chavurah program (friendship groups) cater to various interests and age groups. The Award Winning Social Action committee is constantly engaged in Tikkun Olam or "healing the world" bringing everyone together to help those in need.

B'nai Amoona is a Kosher institution and employs its own Masgichah to supervise Kashrut. In addition, B'nai Amoona is the only Conservative synagogue in St. Louis that maintains its own cemetery, located in University City, Missouri.

The congregation serves approximately 800 families serving Jews by birth and by choice as well as interfaith couples.[1]

Services[edit]

The congregation maintains daily services including Minyan everyday of the week supported by a group known as the "Minyanaires" who ensure that there is always a quorum of ten people to hold the services. The services include:

Morning Minyan

  • 7:00 a.m. Monday through Friday
  • 9:00 a.m. Sunday and secular holidays
  • 9:00 a.m. Shabbat service
  • 9:30 a.m. Childcare

Evening Minyan

  • 6:15 p.m. Sunday through Thursday
  • 6:00 p.m. Friday

Office hours

  • Monday: 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday - Thursday: 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 9:00 a.m. until noon, when religious school is in session

Programs[edit]

Education[edit]

The congregation has recently redesigned its educational programs to better meet the needs of the congregant families as well as to meet the educational required by the Conservative movement. Entitled "Pardes", The Meyer Kranzberg Center for Jewish Living and learning seeks to aspires to teach the congregation's children what they need to know, both in terms of Judaics as well as Hebrew, to become educated, knowledgeable and engaged adult Jews. Pardes starts in Kindergarten and continues through twelfth grade, and encompasses formal, informal and family education. The school aims to not only educate children but to inspire them, as well as their parents, to embrace the strong Jewish tradition they are a part of.

The school provides services to grade school children and through the Bnai Amoona ECC, services to children ages twelve months to five years.

The congregation also maintains an ongoing series of regular adult classes in addition to special programs. The ongoing programs include:

  • Talmud class – every Sunday morning following Minyan
  • Sisterhood class – every Wednesday morning from 10:00 a.m. until noon
  • Men’s Club Young Men’s Study Group – every Thursday evening from 8:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
  • The Language of Judaism – every Seudah Shlisheet (Saturday evenings between Mincha and Maariv)

Youth programs[edit]

United Synagogue Youth[edit]

The synagogue youth program is a vibrant program for the congregational youth beginning in grades 5 and 6 with Atid Amoona; Kadima (grades 7 and 8) and BAUSY for grades 9 through 12. The program is encourages activity in United Synagogue Youth (USY) on the Chapter, Regional and International levels; Membership in several local clubs and conducts weekly meetings for all the programs. BAUSY also actively conducts Shabbat Dinners, Saturday night programs and sleepovers all to encourage congregational youth to not only continue their connection to B'nai Amoona but to grow as Jewish leaders of the future. For its efforts, B'nai Amoona USY was voted the EMTZA Region Chapter of the Year for 2009 - 2010.[3]

Youth camps[edit]

The congregation maintains two summer camps for youth in the St Louis community, based on age. Collectively known as the Alfred Fleishman Summer Camps, they are Ramot Amoona for older children and B'nai Ami for preschool children.

Ramot Amoona[edit]

Since 1983, Ramot Amoona has provided the St. Louis area with a day-camp environment with informal Jewish education and active recreation intertwined. Campers entering kindergarten through entering 6th grade learn by doing, as Judaism comes to life in a variety of activities. Campers enjoy a safe environment that challenges the body, enriches the mind and releases the Jewish spirit within. Our unparalleled programming, super staff, and campruach (spirit) make Camp Ramot Amoona a special place.

The day starts with songs of T'fillah (prayer) and is filled with exciting Peulot (activities) that keep campers and staff moving all day long. The daily YMCA swim instruction is a short bus ride to the Elk's Lodge. Special days such as Maccabia and Yom Yisrael are just some of the high lights. Everyone is involved in creating positive Jewish experiences with memories and friendships that last a lifetime.

B'nai Ami[edit]

Camp B'nai Ami is an introduction to Jewish camping for young children between the ages of two and five, with the oldest entering pre-kindergarten. B'nai Ami has a long tradition of providing toddlers and preschoolers a summer of fun with a "Jewish twist". Campers explore their environment and are introduced to developmentally appropriate activities guided by caring, knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff members. The low child-to-staff ratio ensures a safe and positive experience. B'nai Ami stresses socialization, communication, morals and ethics within a Jewish framework.

The activities include water play, amanut (art), rikud (dance), musica (music), and tarbut Yisrael (Israeli culture). Every Friday there is a special event along with practice Shabbat.

Men's Club[edit]

The B'nai Amoona Men's Club is dedicated to:

Making Judaism more meaningful to its members by promoting religious, cultural and social activities. Strengthening B'nai Amoona Congregation by striving to increase its membership and by supporting all of its activities. Encouraging its members to live lives that exemplify the tenets and teachings of Judaism as well as its traditions and customs.

Generally contributing to the strength of Jewish community life and of American democracy by being intelligent and loyal Jews.

The Men's Club is a member of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs and conducts several programs throughout the year that include:

  • Channukah Dinner
  • Dad and Me with the Early Childhood
  • Hearing Men's Voices
  • Football Night
  • Mother's Day Brunch
  • Scotch in the Sukkah
  • World Wide Wrap
  • Yom Hashoah Candles

Women's Club[edit]

The Women's club is extremely active in synagogue life and believes women can be helped by being part of an intergenerational group of Jewish women, developing friendships, building a sense of community and a sense of belonging to the congregation, all by helping others at B’nai Amoona and others within the St. Louis Jewish community.

The Women's Club maintains the synagogue gift shop and runs the annual Torah Fund appeal. The club also supports the following programs:

  • 10th Grade Trip to Washington, D.C.
  • Adult Education Classes
  • Assistance to Children with Special Needs
  • ECC and Religious School Programming
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • Jewish Book Festival
  • Jewish Film Festival
  • Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and its subsidiaries
  • Life Cycle Gifts
  • Nishmah
  • Purim Hamantashen
  • Shabbat and Holiday Babysitting
  • Sukkot Caramel Apples
  • USY Support and Scholarships

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Staff - Congregational Staff and Leadership
  2. ^ History - Congregational Heritage.
  3. ^ BAUSY

References[edit]

  • "Congregation B'nai Amoona". www.bnaiamoona.com. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  • "B'nai Amoona USY". www.bausy.com. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  • Congregation B'nai Amoona Golden Jubilee (1882–5642, 1932–5692) Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of our congregation
  • The Souvenir book for the Sixtieth Anniversary of B'nai Amoona; 1882–1942
  • The Modern View-25th Anniversary – 1900–1925 (a weekly newspaper chronicling Jewish life in St. Louis)
  • Olitzky, Kerry M.; Raphael, Marc Lee (June 30, 1996). The American Synagogue: A Historical Dictionary and Sourcebook. Greenwood Press. pp. 196–198.

External links[edit]