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Virtual Community / Coronavirus Updates

It is the goal and complete intention of CSAIR to keep our congregation safe and informed during this time as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  We have set up this portal to continue to keep you informed of everything you need to know with regard to the synagogue and any support services we are putting in to place. 

Coming together as a community is at the center of who we are as Jews. Yet experts say that preventing the spread of this pandemic requires distancing ourselves physically from one another for a time. We will not let this physical distancing keep us from reaching out to one another in love and finding ways to support one another during a challenging period where so many emotions swirl. While we are pulling back on in-person opportunities to engage and connect, we are also looking at this as an opportunity to engage with our community in new, exciting and creative ways. 

We are filled with prayer, determination and love for our shul as we wish all of you Tihiyu Bree’eem.

Stay Healthy!

Cliff Nerwen, MD, President

Rabbi Barry Dov Katz

Programming      Connect      Resources      Need to Know      Financial Assistance

For security purposes, we are no longer publishing information of our Zoom sessions on the website.  Please check our emails for details about login information, or email Rabbi Greenberg at for credentials. 

Virtual Programming


Wednesday, May 27

Shavuot Pre-Tikkun, 7:30-11:30 PM
Join us for some wonderful Torah study in preparation for Shavuot. We will start at 7:30 with the Shavuot story Slam sponsored by Riverdale Jewish Community Project where CSAIR's own Rabbi Rafi Cohen will be sharing his story on the meaning of Torah. Click here to register.

Then we will have three hours of various learning options with CSAIR featuring; Phil Keisman, Richard Kalmin, Rabbi Miriam Greenblatt Weidberg, Mason Voit, Cantor Stevens and more. 

Three hours of learning opportunities with CSAIR. Choose one breakout session per hour.
Please click here to register for your break out sessions in advance.
Check your email for credentials or contact us at 

Learning Session Materials


  • Rabbi Miriam Weidberg: "Missed Communication? Stories of Hearing, Listening, and Understanding in Tanakh"
  • Rabbi Avi Killip: "The Kiss of Death: A Taste of Israeli Women's Midrash"
  • Rabbi Barry Dov Katz: "Book of Ruth: Being Jewish When The World is Upside Down"
  • Cantor Elizabeth Stevens: "Chanting the Book of Ruth "


  • Dr. Richard Kalmin: "Blind Rabbis and Mocking Heretics"
  • Rabbi Katie Greenberg: "Who Has a Voice and Who is Silenced: Exploring Sarah and Hagar’s relationship"
  • Session for Teens with Mason Voit: "How did a Napoleon, croissant, and macaroon change the Jewish future?"


  • Phil Keisman: “Dominion is Certainly in the Hand of the King:" What the Rabbis of the Talmud Thought of Alexander the Great
  • Rabbi Michael Pitkowsky: "Do We Recite a Blessing Over Tasting and Smelling Something When We Can't Taste or Smell?"
  • Ben Freed: "Who Tells Your Story: An Exploration of Dirshuni, a Compilation of Modern Midrash from Israeli Women"

11:30 PM
Maariv and final counting of the Omer


Thursday, May 28

Yizkor Service and Shavuot Night Live Celebration, starting at 5:00 PM
We will start the evening with a Yizkor service at 5:00 PM followed by Shavuot Night Live at 5:30 PM featuring Torah reading by the 5th graders and Torah from Rabbi Katz around the theme of love. 

  • Yizkor Service from 5:00-5:30 PM
  • Torah reading by the 5th graders for the first time
  • A meditation on love from Rabbi Katz
  • Reciting the 10 commandments
  • Torah from Rabbinic Intern, Ben Freed

Check your email for credentials or contact us at


Monday, June 1

Maariv Services, 7:30 PM
We will be conducting a Zoom Minha Ma'ariv service. The service will be slightly modified because we are not physically in the same place, and it will include a prayer in place of Kaddish at the end. 
Check your email for credentials or contact us at

Monday Night Torah, 9:00 PM
Join Eric Fisher for a collaborative learning experience every Monday evening. Together we'll explore a traditional Jewish text for the first 10-15 minutes of the session; and the text will then serve as a jumping off point for group discussion. We'll begin by studying excerpts from Maimonides' Mishneh Torah that concern the "Laws of Lovingkindness." The texts and discussion will be accessible to adult learners of all levels and experience. 
Check your email for credentials or contact us at


Tuesday, June 2

Ice Cream and Goofy Games, 5:00 PM
Bring your ice cream and get ready for some fun shenanigans. For kids in grades 4-7.
Check your email for credentials or contact us at


Wednesday, June 3

Torah for Today: Weekly Parshat HaShavua Class, Wednesdays at 11:00 AM-Noon
For generations, Jews have lived their lives in conversation with Parshat HaShavua, the weekly Torah reading. Each week through June 17 we will look at selections from the Parsha for the coming weekend along with ancient and modern commentary. This class will be taught every week, alternating between Rabbi Katz and Rabbi Greenberg. 
Check your email for credentials or contact us at 
Click here for previous Torah for Today sessions.​​​​​​​

Annual Congregational Meeting, 8:00 PM


Sunday, June 14

CSAIR's Un-Gala, 6:00 PM
Purchase tickets and/or purchase an ad and learn more about this event here.

Virtual Ways to Connect

CSAIR Marsha Dane Stern Hebrew School Remote Learning

Our Hebrew School has transitioned to remote learning with weekly zoom class sessions and home-based learning assignments.  All kids in grades K-7 and their families are welcome to join the Hebrew School in our Jewish learning experiences.

Emunah Groups

Our core response to the COVID 19 will be to divide the shul into groups of 7 families or individuals who will call and support each other during this time. We are calling the groups "Emunah Groups." If you choose to be part of one of these groups, then your commitment will be to talk to the people in your group once a week. That will mean that every member of our shul will talk to other members of the shul several times a week. Each group will have a convener, someone who will help get things started.  We want each of you to feel like you have the support you need during this time and that you can support others. Click here to sign up for a group.  Click here to sign up to be a convener.

For more information email Rabbi Katie Greenberg or Abby Pitkowsky.


Community Emergency Resource Guide
The Riverdale Clergy Conference has put together a document with resources for the community to utilize during this pandemic. The resources compiled in the document deal with many issues including domestic violence, workers rights, childcare, financial needs, food assistance, housing, mental health resources and more. Please click here.

Social Distancing Guide

Mental Health and Covid 19

Riverdale Mikveh is constantly updating its policies to keep people safe in light of COVID19.
Please check their website for current information.

In these extraordinary times, we know that many of you are exploring ways to pray as a community while engaging in social distancing. Fill out this form to gain access to pdf files of key services from Siddur Lev Shalem, Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat, and Siddur Sim Shalom for Weekdays. We have also made available a prayer for when there is no minyan for saying kaddish.

Kosher Meals for Seniors who are at Home
The Riverdale Y is delivering hot, kosher meals to seniors staying safe at home. If you are interested in receiving meals, please contact Sharon at

Looking for a few minutes of quiet focus? Here is a short mediation based on themes of Parshat Tzav with rabbinic intern Ben Perlstein. 

Join a local CSA to get fresh fruits and vegetables: Email HIR's CSA committee.

Send thank you cards to health care workers and staff at Montefiore hospital. Click here.

CovidWatcher. Help track COVID-19's impact on New York City neighborhoods in real-time, filling in critical gaps in knowledge of the virus to better understand the needs across our communities. Click here.

What you Need to Know

Hebrew School
Hebrew School will remain closed through March, and or until further notice.  Mason Voit and the educational team are actively developing ways to engage our students virtually.

What does it mean that CSAIR will close for activities?
All previously scheduled activities and programming have been cancelled. We will continue developing online alternatives to engage our membership and keep our community connected.

The shul office will be closed for in-person interactions.

Please contact Rabbi Katz or Rabbi Greenberg to discuss arrangements for any lifecycle events you are planning for both the immediate and foreseeable future.

I don’t know how to use Zoom!
We can help. Email or call Mason Voit, 718-543-8400 ext:5 and we will have someone call and walk you through set-up.

I’d like to help by making phone calls, writing cards, or running errands for people.
Please click here to fill out a form that will help capture this information. We will be in touch with you shortly.

I need help - with errands, food, or I am feeling lonely.
Please fill out this form and we will help coordinate what you need.

Financial Assistance 

Increasing disruptions and shutdowns have very real and challenging financial impact on many in our congregation and throughout the city. The Hebrew Free Loan Society recently launched its Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan Program to provide interest-free loans of $2,000-$5,000 to lower-income residents of New York City who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.

These loans address: 

  • Lost wages due to being unable to go to work 
  • Child care costs due to school closures
  • Small business losses 
  • Canceled study abroad programs 
  • Related medical costs 

For more information and an application, visit   Please help spread the word about this important resource.

Thu, May 28 2020 5 Sivan 5780