Our Heritage

Welcome to Congregation Rodeph Sholom, one of New York’s most distinguished Reform congregations. We are an extended family of people who care about each other and our community.

Congregation Rodeph Sholom was founded on the Lower East Side of New York in 1842. The eighty founders were members of a Bikkur Cholim society known for its care of the sick and needy.

Rodeph Sholom has always sought to blend the teachings of our Jewish heritage with the best lessons of modern culture. We are proud of our beautiful worship services, our commitment to social action, and our emphasis on Jewish education for people of all ages.

Rodeph Sholom’s rich history includes two moves: to Lexington Avenue at 63rd Street in 1891 and to our present home at 7 West 83rd Street in 1930. This Temple House and Sanctuary, designed by renowned architect Charles B. Meyers, was dedicated on Purim, March 1930. The architectural style follows the Romanesque of the 11th and 12th centuries. Beautiful, yet simple in design, the Sanctuary enhances our sense of reverence, as attention is directed to the Ark housing our Torah scrolls and the engraved Hebrew words:

“Know before whom you stand.”

In 1875, the congregation began using a Conservative service with organ music and a choir. In 1901, Rodeph Sholom joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (now the Union for Reform Judaism), becoming part of the Reform movement.

Our congregation made history in 1970 by establishing the first Reform Jewish Day School in North America. In 1988 the School moved into our building on West 84th Street, and in 1993, we acquired new property on West 78th and 79th Streets to expand our school, community and religious activities.

Remaining true to our name, which is Hebrew for “pursuer of peace,” Rodeph Sholom takes great pride in our history and is hard at work to fulfill the promise of our future.

Congregation Rodeph Sholom is a welcoming spiritual community which strives to educate and inspire children, youth and adults to participate actively in worship, Torah study and Jewish life experience, and to put Reform Jewish religious and ethical principles into action.

We seek to enrich the lives of our members, contribute to the continuance and vitality of the Jewish people, and Tikkun Olam ― to help “repair the world.”

Please explore our website and learn about all that Congregation Rodeph Sholom has to offer.