Please see our main, 'official' website for further information:


Main entrance

Our Congregation

Congregation B'nai Israel is a Conservative Congregation following the guidelines set forth by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. We represent a middle ground in Jewish theology and are committed to serving and upholding Jewish traditions as such. Our services are conducted in the traditional Hebrew, with many English readings. We are an egalitarian Congregation in that women are both counted in the minyan and may participate equally with men in all functions of our services.

Established in 1915, we are now housed in our 6th building, located in Freeport, just one block north of Sunrise Highway between Pennsylvania and North Brookside Avenues, occupying almost three acres of property. We have a small, intimate chapel as well as a large sanctuary which houses our 54 beautiful stained glass windows portraying the 54 portions of the Torah.

All are welcome to join us in service.

- Egalitarian!

- Warm and friendly atmosphere!

- Caring leaders who are willing to go the extra mile!

- Sisterhood and Men's Club!

- Friday night services/Saturday morning minyans!

- All Holiday services!

- Hebrew School free to the first child of all families!


Our Synagogue

The Sanctuary is the main worship area in the Synagogue. The Bimah is in the front of the Sanctuary from which the religious leaders conduct services. The Ark is the enclosed area of the Bimah where the Torahs are held. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible. Each Torah is handwritten on parchment scroll. It is read and studied in an annual cycle such that every Jew in the world follows the same portion of the Torah each week.

Sanctuary - stained glass

Executive Board and Officers

  • Rabbi Emeritus - Reuben M. Katz
  • Rabbi - Tamar Crystal
  • President - Marilyn Gales
  • Vice President Ritual - Fran Lerner
  • Vice President House - Larry Grebinar
  • Vice President Membership - Martin Cadel
  • Vice President Fundraising - June Cadel
  • Treasurer - Leigh Harris
  • Recording Secretary - Sharon Levy
  • Financial Secretary - Arthur Gales
  • Sisterhood - Carol Lotardo
  • Men's Club - TBD
  • Chairman of the Board - Carol Lotardo
  • Vice Chairman of the Board - Joe Barbanell
  • School Coordinator - Carol Lotardo
  • Messenger Editor - Elaine Speicher
  • Secretary - Kathy Becker
  • Building and Grounds - Jose Ferreiras

Sanctuary - memorial wall

Congregation Guidelines

Head coverings: The kippah (Yarmulkah) is the traditional head covering worn by all men, as a sign of respect and reverence to G-d. It reminds us that G-d is above us and that we should follow G-d's commandments. Non-Jewish male guests are asked to wear a Kippah or other head coverings such as lace that will be provided by the Temple. Women who come up to the Bimah must wear a head covering.

A Tallit (prayer shawl) is a four-cornered garment with tzitzit (fringes) worn at morning services by all Jewish males past the age of 13 and many women. The number of twists and turns of the fringes add up to 613, the number of commandments given in the Torah. The commandment to wear the Tallit is found in Numbers 15:37-41, "Speak unto the children of Israel and bid them to make fringes in the corner of their garments throughout their generations...".

Everyone in the Sanctuary is asked to stand during specific parts of the service: when the Ark is opened, when the Torah scroll is lifted or carried around the Synagogue, and during the recitation of certain prayers. If you are entering the Sanctuary, wait quietly until the ushers allow you to enter. There are specific times when you will be asked not to enter or leave the Sanctuary, based on the traditional laws of Jewish worship: when the Ark is open, when the Torah scroll is in procession, during the recitation of certain prayers, during the sermon, when the Haftorah is being chanted, any other times when the Sanctuary doors are closed. We ask that you please do not congregate in the lobby. Please keep cell phones and pagers turned off in all areas of the Synagogue. In consideration of your fellow worshippers, we request that you do not talk to others during the service.

Hebrew books, including our prayer books, are read right to left. The "Sim Shalom" Siddur (prayer book) with the grey and dark blue cover is a collection of prayers written and collected over two millennia. The name Siddur is derived from the hebrew word seder, which means "order". During the Torah service, the "Etz Hayim" Humasch, the large red bok with the gold tree is used for the Torah and Haftorah readings. Etz Hayim means "tree of life".

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