Our mission at Mishkan Ha’am is to create a warm, joyful, collaborative community within a framework of Reconstructionist Judaism. We welcome diversity and encourage engagement with our evolving tradition, the exploration of varied ideas and beliefs, and the creative expression of Jewish identity. At Mishkan Ha’am, children and adults gather for education and discussion, celebration and life cycle events, and spiritual practices and prayer, as we support each other and the greater community.
Mishkan Ha’am welcomes everyone who wants to share in what we offer, including people of any age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, as individuals or in families of all configurations. Full participation is open to members of interfaith households, those with longstanding Jewish practice or no previous Jewish affiliation, and those certain of, questioning, or disbelieving in the existence of a divine presence. We know that diversity strengthens our community.
As a Reconstructionist community, Mishkan Ha’am integrates a deep respect for traditional Judaism with an active exploration of it in light of our own time. We believe in embracing tradition—rituals and ceremonies that link us to our predecessors and to other Jews—while wrestling with Jewish teachings and practices to find meaning and make choices and adaptations that allow them to evolve.
Visit “Our Values” to learn more about Mishkan Ha’am.
About half of our members live in southern Westchester County and half live in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge area of the Bronx. Our ongoing programs take place at our mishkan, located at 18 Farragut Avenue in Hastings-on-Hudson (within the Reformed Church of Hastings).
Led by Rabbi Mackenzie Reynolds, a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, we typically come together several weekends each month for creative and meaningful services and cultural, spiritual, and educational programs for adults and children. We also gather as a community to celebrate holidays and life cycle events. Our services and programs reflect the voices and interests of Mishkan Ha’am’s community members of all ages. She’arim/Gateways, our innovative approach to Hebrew School, meets weekly and offers classes for children ranging in age from kindergarten to seventh grade. During the year in which families approach Bar/Bat Mitzvah, parents and young people together share in a unique group exploration in preparation for the milestone event.
Our Adult education program includes seminars, “brunch and learns,” in-depth Torah study, a Jewish/Israel-themed book group and interesting and sometimes difficult conversations. Topics are generated by our members in accordance with their interests. Our Tikkun Olam/Social Action committee organizes and invites adult and family participation in efforts to address local and more distant needs.
Mishkan Ha’am is a member of the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
Friday, June 1 – Kabbalat Shabbat and She’arim Night (6:00-10:00pm)
Saturday, June 2 – MH Fundraiser Yard Sale @ the Saphra’s House (10:00am-4:00pm): Bring us your junk! Unless you’re a strict ascetic, we know you have used (and new, unused) stuff you’re ready to part with. So bring it to the Saphras’ house in Irvington so we can sell it in our annual yard sale and donate the proceeds to Mishkan Ha’am. Contact Phyllis Saphra at email@example.com or David Saphra at firstname.lastname@example.org for address and directions. We’re also looking for volunteers to help set up, hang out during the sale, and break it down.
Monday, June 11 – Annual Meeting @ The First Reformed Church (7:30-10:00pm). This is our most important meeting of the year. We will look at our strengths and weaknesses, review and vote on revised by-laws as well as our budget, and nominate officers. We need your voices and your votes so please come! This meeting is for all members!!! We need at least 23 members so please come! Bring a vegetarian pot luck dish.
Saturday, June 16 – Shabbat Service, Oneg/Potluck Lunch & Adult Ed: “Comparative Jewish/ Christian Thought” (10:00am-3:00pm). Join us at 10:00 for Shabbat services, at 12:00 noon for oneg /potluck lunch and at 1:00 p.m. for Adult Education. Rabbi Mackenzie will give a presentation and lead a discussion on “Comparative Jewish/ Christian Thought”. You are welcome at 1, 2, or 3 events!! Please bring a friend and a vegetarian dish.
In response to the recent statement by the Westchester Jewish Council praising President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US Embassy there, we, a 20-year-old Reconstructionist Jewish congregation centered on the Rivertowns, Yonkers and Riverdale communities, recently wrote a letter of protest to the WJC’s leadership. See our letter in the Riverdale Press here.
We took this step both because, as described in our letter, we disagree with the substance and process by which the WJC made this statement. As the leadership of both our own Reconstructionist movement, and the Reform movement, have made clear, Trump’s unilateral declaration dangerously ignored the bipartisan history of US peacemaking efforts. We are disappointed that the WJC imagines that unilateral action outside the framework of dialogue and diplomacy can magically bring the region to a lasting and enduring peace.
Furthermore, as longstanding dues-paying members of the WJC, we believe that the WJC leadership should have recognized the sensitivity, complexity and nuance of this issue and refrained from issuing a statement until after engaging the WJC member organizations.