WHITE MEADOW TEMPLE
153 WHITE MEADOW ROAD   |  ROCKAWAY, NJ  07866  |  973-627-4500
Shabbat Evening Services 7:30 PM | Shabbat Morning Services 9:15 AM
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Mon-Thursday: 9:00-3:00 PM | Friday: 9:00-2:00 PM
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White Meadow Temple was founded in 1952 by a handful of dedicated men and women.  Rabbi Jacob Weitman arrived in 1955 and served as the spiritual leader and guiding force in growing White Meadow Temple until his retirement in 1989. White Meadow Temple's growing membership led to a 1964 groundbreaking ceremony for renovations and additions to the building situated at 153 White Meadow Road in Rockaway's White Meadow Lake. Martha Silvershein was considered to be the founding mother of White Meadow Temple. Affiliated with the United Synagogue of America, White Meadow Temple is a warm, active, egalitarian Conservative congregation that serves the needs of our members and welcomes interfaith couples. The community, while originally from just White Meadow Lake, has maintained its hamishness while welcoming members from towns throughout Morris County and beyond. The Synagogue sponsors a Religious School, Seniors, Sisterhood, and Youth group.  Junior Congregation is held regularly. Congregational activities include educational and social programs for all ages. White Meadow Temple holds services on Shabbat, festivals, weekday evenings and Sunday mornings under the auspices of Rabbi Charlie Popky.

Worship Vision Statement

 

Vision

 

White Meadow Temple is built on the idea that central to our role as Jews is the search for a connection to God and the Jewish people through prayer. In our community, we welcome all who wish to pray, bringing their own experiences to our community. Inspired by the warmth of God’s presence, we seek a sense of protection and comfort within a communal environment. Those who enter our house to pray will feel a sense of continuity with the Jewish past and hope in the Jewish future, midor ledor (from generation to generation). We are guided by halakhah (Jewish law), inspired by the idea of kavanah (meaningful devotion) and faithful to the keva (the patterns of prayer).

 

Mission

 

An egalitarian and participatory community, we seek to create an environment where Jews from all backgrounds can enter our house to worship in ways that are spiritually meaningful and in accordance with the teachings of traditional halakhah (Jewish law).

 

Principles that Guide the Prayer Experience

 

Worship at White Meadow Temple endeavors to facilitate a relationship with a personal, accessible, and loving God. Whether it is through healing or in searching for forgiveness, worshippers will encounter a supportive God, one who embodies the key middot (aspects) of both din (justice) and rachamim (mercy).

 

We understand that Jewish prayer can be challenging therefore learning is a central element that helps worshippers gain insight during our services. In our warm community we welcome all to join our congregational family and seek to provide moments to worship and grow together spiritually. Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people for millennia, is central to our tefilah (prayer) but we include English as a way of making prayer meaningful to the modern world. The Torah portion is chanted in its entirety at Shabbat services, which include the study of Torah that is inspiring and relevant. Song is a vital part of our services. Using the traditional modes of Jewish liturgical music as well as contemporary melodies and styles, we create the music of memory, togetherness, inward focus, and the majesty of God.

 

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RABBI CHARLIE POPKY

Rabbi Charlie Popky has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a Rabbi, including the leading of a congregation during time of change and professional transition and guiding the transformation of a congregation from non-egalitarian to egalitarian. Most recently, he served as a visiting scholar for Shabbatonim and other programs, assist in adult and youth programming, and consult with board on congregational development in Ottawa. He has worked as a freelance educator, Educator, including regular substitute teacher in the community day school, training students for B’nai Mitzvah and conversion, and serving as guest lecturer at universities, churches, and other adult education programs. He also served as Chaplain for Jewish Family Services, providing regular visits to Jewish residents in nursing homes, and residences; as well as serving as Jewish resource and scholar for various health care organizations and programs.  Additionally, he taught aught in local Melton program, as part of JCC adult education and in Day School and developed more welcoming and engaging prayer experiences through introduction of a new siddur and mahzor, teaching, and creation of instructional pamphlets. Developed relations with Christian congregations through shared adult education programs and participation in local interfaith groups.

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RABBI EMERITUS JACOB WEITMAN

CANTOR JOSHUA GABRIEL KOWITZ



Having grown up as the son of a cantor, CANTOR JOSHUA GABRIEL KOWITZ was immersed in Jewish learning and music from a young age. Most recently, he worked as a Cantorial internal at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, MD under the tutelage of Hazzan Matthew Klein. He is finishing his first year of Cantorial school at the Jewish Theological Seminary and has mastered the Shabbat Nusach, particularly the Musaf service, and has written several original compositions of liturgical music. Cantor Joshua Kowitz has had the joy of leading song sessions for Hebrew school students and looks forward to bringing his newfound knowledge of transporting the neshamot of the White Meadow template at Shabbat evenings, holiday services and the High Holy Days. 

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2014-2015 Executive Committee

Jules Resnick, President
David Greenberg, Vice President, Finance / Treasurer
Sandy Saposnick, Vice President, Administration
Elaine Mico, Vice President, Social Events
Harvey Pyser, Financial Secretary
Maddy Lashen, Recording/Corporate Secretary

2013-2014 Board of Trustees

Nadine Armus, Publicity Chair
Eric Balis
Rich Chassen
Jeff Cohen
Jason Epstein
Alan Fayerman
Carol Friedman, Youth Activities Chair
Bob Goldberg, Ritual Committee Chair
Joel Goldman
Abby Greenberg
Bernie Hayet
Helen Hill
Stacey Kellar
Sheldon Kirsch
Noah Krieger
Paula Lefkowitz
Stuart Lefkowitz
Ben Lehman
Marc Levine (Immediate Past President)
Stephanie Levine
Peter Rosen, Legal Counsel
Shelly Russo
Neil Salant
Howard Sislin
Mike Thailer
June Zieder
Arlene Zimmerman


2014-2015 Religious School / Childhood Education Staff

Religious School Head, Ilene Lefkowitz
Cantor Joshua Kowitz
Pam Chassen
Marissa Cohen
Michele Schoenberg
Lisa Segelman
Jamie Zieder



Office Staff

Mindy Fast, Bookkeeper
Juliette Klug, Administrative Assistant


Communications

Rikki Abrahams
Nadine Armus
Lynne Gaines
Maddy Lashen
Randy Mitchell

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A  Message from former Cantor Matthew Klein -- Delivered on Shabbat Korach (June 25, 2011)

Today I‘d like to tell you why I, Hazzan Matthew Klein, love White Meadow Temple. I know that this has normally been Shel‘s job, and that it‘s typically followed by him asking you to fold down a tab on your ticket, place it in an envelope, and hand it to one of our bright and well-dressed children as they circulate around the room. But it‘s shabbes, so you‘re off the hook--although if you are moved to make a donation after Shabbes, I‘m sure that neither Shel nor I will mind.

White Meadow Temple has so many things about it that I really love.

It‘s a community that people come back to, where I get to meet two or three generations of our families in our synagogue on a regular basis. Where fathers and sons sit together, where you find mothers and daughters and granddaughters, all coming back for holidays, for weekends, or even to live. People like living here, and it‘s not just because there are three beaches in walking distance. This is a family place.

I love White Meadow Temple because we have young leaders who make me smile every time I see them in shul or hear them lead parts of the service. I grew up as that shul kid, and believe me I‘ve been to a few synagogues and not every one has young people who come to pray, but we have them, and they‘re great. You are truly a blessing, and remind me of how I became who I am, and why I do what I do.

I love White Meadow Temple because its people are genuinely nice. I‘ve eaten in your homes, I‘ve schmoozed with you at kiddush and at events—ou‘re just good people. You‘re interesting, you‘re insightful, you‘re gracious. You make it great to be here.

I love White Meadow Temple because of our rabbi. I have colleagues in other pulpits across the nation who struggle with their relationship with their rabbi, and we know all of the old, tired war stories about rabbis and cantors fighting. But not with this rabbi. This rabbi—Rabbi Benjamin Adler-- is the most pleasant and easy-to-work with rabbi that I have ever served with -- a great partner, a great mentor, and an absolute mensch. When it came time to put my job on the JTS student placement list, I couldn‘t say enough good things about it, in part because I knew that any student coming in here would have a great ally and partner in the pulpit. Rabbi Adler makes White Meadow Temple not only a great place to be, but it is a choice pulpit for growing hazzanim.

And lastly, I like White Meadow Temple because it is such a great place to be a cantor. I‘ve been able to really grow, doing a traditional davenning and torah reading while also doing some outside-the-box work with niggunim, sermons, and English readings. And when I travel the Jewish world and meet more and more former hazzanim from White Meadow Temple, I‘m always impressed with who they are and where they‘ve gone. Richard Nadel, my nusach coach at the Seminary; Jesse Holzer, who‘s doing amazing things down in Jacksonville; my friend Steven Wolvik with his amazing bass voice; Michael Krausman--whom I met this summer, and whose father I met while auditioning in Toronto at Rabbi Lipson‘s synagogue (small world); our new hazzan, Hillary Blank, whom I‘ve known since she was an undergrad and with whom I have always been impressed; and of course, Hank Rosenblum, my mentor, my guide, and former dean. White Meadow Temple has a history of being a great place for these great cantors to grow.

V’al Kulam, For all of these reasons, I continue to love White Meadow Temple. I want it to have a strong future, and continue to be successful. I want to be able to come back here and visit with my family one day and show them where I got my start as a hazzan. And with that beautiful end in mind, I want to share with you some Torah, some wisdom, from today‘s haftarah, to offer some insight in how to sustain a beautiful community like ours.

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