Ramath Orah

Ramath Orah

Congregation Ramath Orah is an Orthodox synagogue located in Manhattan's Upper West Side, close to Columbia University. It occupies a neo-Georgian building originally built in 1921 for the West Side Unitarian Church. [Dunlap, David W. "From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship",2004, p. 180.] [Dolkart, Andrew. "Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture and Development", 2001, p. 459 ]

It is the synagogue portrayed in Ari L. Goldman's book, "A Year of Living Kaddish".


The congregation was founded in 1942 by Rabbi Dr. Robert Serebrenik, his wife Mrs. Julia Serebrenik (nee Herzog), and sixty-one other Jewish refugees form Luxembourg. Serebrenik, who was born in Vienna in 1902, had been Chief Rabbi of Luxembourg since 1929. About 1000 Jews fled into France at the time of the German invasion of Luxembourg, May 10, 1940. Luxembourg has approximately 4,000 Jewish residents at the beginning WWII, about half of whom had recently sought refuge there from Nazi countries. Rabbi and Mrs. Serebrenik stayed and organized a series of clandestine escapes of about 2,000 members of the Jewish population into southern, unoccupied France and elsewhere. On March 20, 1941, Serebrenik met in Berlin with Adolf Eichmann who demanded the Luxembourg must be “Judenrein” , and was given eleven days to complete the removal of the Jewish population of Luxembourg. Serebrenick managed to secure the exit of a further 250 Jews before he and his wife were driven out by the Gestapo. [ [http://www.ramathorah.org/theluxembourgheritage.html Congregation Ramath Orah ] ] [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/nyregion/thecity/02holi.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin World of Their Fathers - New York Times ] ] According to the "New York Times", Serebrenick stayed, working to secure visas for more Jews, “until he was seized by the Gestapo and beaten unconscious.” ["ROBERT SEREBRENIK RABBI, IS DEAD AT 62", "The New York Times", February 12, 1965.]

With the new century, Ramath Orah experienced a revival with a dynamic, young Rabbi Stephen Friedman. [Josephs, Susan. "The Greening Of The Rabbinate: Manhattan shuls looking to the future are tapping twenty- and thirtysomething rabbis. Can the new breed keep young, fickle Jews fired up?" , "The Jewish Week", March 31, 2000.] The "Columbia Spectator" describes it as “very popular among Columbia students who want a spirited, liberal, Orthodox service." [Carhart, Matt & Aronauer, Rebecca. "CU Jewish Students Seek High Holiday Services", "Columbia Spectator", October 3, 2003.]

Notable members

* Rabbi Saul Berman
* Professor Paul S. Appelbaum
* Professor Samuel G. Freedman
* Professor Esther Fuchs
* Professor Ari L. Goldman
* Professor Louis Henkin
* Professor Adam Zachary Newton
* Professor Robert Pollack (biologist)
* Rabbi Ismar Schorsch
* Rabbi Joseph Telushkin


Ramath Orah is the synagogue described in Ari L. Goldman’s book, "Living a Year of Kaddish".

ee also

*History of the Jews in Luxembourg

External links

* http://www.ramathorah.org/


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