Sign In Forgot Password

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I go for answers to these questions?

FOR ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Shane Dolch, Chairperson Policies and Procedures Committee. [Shane.g.dolch@gmail.com]

Religious School

What are religious school hours/days?

 

K – 2 SUNDAY FROM 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
3 – 7 SUNDAY FROM 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
3 –7 TUESDAY FROM 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Whom do I tell if my child will be absent from school?

Religious School parents should call the office or email the Educational Assistant, Janice Rappaport. [janice@csibriarcliff.org]

How do I find out what work my student missed?

Please contact the Religious School Director. [rsdirector@csibriarcliff.org]

Whom do I tell if I think my child is falling behind or needs more challenging work?

Please contact the Religious School Director. [rsdirector@csibriarcliff.org]

Can I enroll my special needs child in religious school?

Students with special needs are welcome to enroll in our school. Support can be arranged for whatever accommodations they need.

How do I find out if school is canceled due to inclement weather/snow?

Weather related cancelations are emailed to all parents, posted on the homepage of the website and will be the outgoing message of the answering machine.

Can the religious school accommodate my LBGTQ+ student?

100% yes. We can and we do. All staff are allies at CSI.

Adult Education

What are your adult educational offerings?

Please click on the link for Adult Education

Whom should I contact if I want to teach a class?

If you wish to teach a class, please contact the Rabbi. [Rabbi.Rosenberg@csibriarcliff.org]

How do I know if a particular program is for me?

CSI has written descriptions of programs and the Director and Office Assistants are happy to talk to anyone with questions. They can also connect a prospective participant with the program instructor by giving the instructor the participant’s contact information.

I have an idea for an adult program. Whom should I contact?

Ideas for adult programs are always welcome and can be discussed with the Rabbi [Rabbi.Rosenberg@csibriarcliff.org].

Religious Services

What time are services?

(Please click on the link Services for more information)
Monday and Thursday Minyanim – 8:00 AM. Virtual Minyan Link
Friday Night services – Times change during the year (Check website for exact time)
Virtual Get-together Link: Bring your own drinks and nosh! – Half an hour before Kabbalat Shabbat
Kabbalat Shabbat Service - 6:00 PM (6:30 PM during DST): In person, on Zoom, and LiveStreamed
Shabbat Morning Services – 9:30 AM
Sunday Morning Minyan – 9:15 AM. Virtual Minyan Link
Services are LiveStreamed on Holidays/Shabbat and on Zoom for weekday Minyan.

How do I learn more about religious services?

Come in person to a service or LiveStream. All are welcome! CSI’s Director can also discuss with you how the typical service runs and/or you make an appointment with the Rabbi. We believe that being here is the best way to determine your comfort level. We are an extremely open, patient and warm community.

I don’t have a background in Conservative Judaism and feel a little lost in services. Is there any way I can learn more or get more comfortable?

CSI has held adult B’nai Mitzvah classes every 2-3 years. If you would like to know more please contact the Rabbi [Rabbi.Rosenberg@csibriarcliff.org]

Whom do I talk to about leading a section of the service?

If you would like to lead a section of the service please contact the Rabbi [Rabbi.Rosenberg@csibriarcliff.org] or Cantor [jshiovitz@gmail.com].

How do I get an aliyah?

Call or email the Director and she will bring the request to the Rabbi. Aliyot may also be requested in honor or memory of a loved one…or you just might get a tap on the shoulder if you come to services. [ellen@csibriarcliff.org]

How can I volunteer to read Torah or Haftarah?

If you would like to volunteer to read Torah or Haftarah please contact the Cantor. [jshiovitz@gmail.com]

I have a question about services. Whom should I contact?

Any questions about services can be addressed by calling or emailing the Rabbi. [Rabbi.Rosenberg@csibriarcliff.org]

I have a suggestion about services. Whom should I contact?

Any suggestions about services can be addressed to the Ritual Committee Chair Joel Neuberg. [rebyoel@optonline.net]

Dues & Donations

When must I pay my dues?

Dues & the Security Fee are due:
  • ⅓ by September 1, ⅓ by December 1, and ⅓ by March 1 of current fiscal year; OR
  • You may establish a monthly payment plan through the CSI Community Portal (ShulCloud).

What are the forms of acceptable payment

  • By Check, made payable to Congregation Sons of Israel or CSI Briarcliff and mailed to:
    Kesef Accounting
    ATTN: CSI Briarcliff
    P.O. Box 418
    Montvale, NJ 07645
  • By Credit Card (please note that a 3% convenience fee is assessed on all charges). On-line or by calling the office
  • By eCheck/ACH

How do I find out how much money I owe?

Login to the CSI Community Portal (ShulCloud) and go to My Account | Pay My Bill. Or go to My Account and explore all the options to see your transactions and update your information. Should you have any questions about using the CSI Community Portal (ShulCloud), please contact the Director’s Administrative Assistant, Jennifer Halperin [jenniferh@csibriarcliff.org] or the web team [web@csibriarcliff.org]

How do I pay my dues?

Dues may be paid by mailing a check, or online through your CSI Community Portal (ShulCloud) account.

Whom do I contact if I have a question about my bill?

You can contact either the Director's Administrative Assistant, Jennifer Halerpin [jenniferh@csibriarcliff.org] or the current CSI Treasurer [treasurer@csibraircliff.org].

How do I make a donation?

To donate online: Login into your CSI Community Portal (ShulCloud) account. Select Donations from the drop down menu under the Giving tab on the CSI Community Portal (ShulCloud). Select the fund you wish to donate to and click on it. Fill out payment details. To donate in person contact Jennifer Halperin. [jenniferh@csibriarcliff.org]

Social Action

What social action activities occur annually?

Committee Chair Judy Boehr [tanglewoodtoots@gmail.com]
Activities include:

  • A High Holiday food drive to benefit The Ossining Food Pantry
  • A Passover Food Drive to benefit Project Ezra
  • A Winter Coat Drive to benefit the Ossining Interfaith Council For Action (IFCA)
  • Turkey Drive for the Star of Bethlehem Church, Ossining before Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Dinner and Toy Drive at The First Presbyterian Church, Ossining

What other social action activities are there?

How can I suggest a new social action project?

Contact Judy Boehr. [tanglewoodtoots@gmail.com]

Involvement

What are the current committees and how do I join one?

The current committees can be found here: Committees, Groups, Clubs. Please contact the committee chair to participate. Meetings are posted on the calendar and listed in the CSI bulletin.

Who do I contact if I would like to form a new committee?

Reach out to the CSI President. [President@csibriarcliff.org]

What other ways can I get involved with CSI?

COME! We have ongoing services, programs, classes and events. Call or email a Board member. (Board of Trustees)

Are board meetings open to everyone?

Anyone is welcome to observe in person or via Livestream. If you wish to be on the agenda, you should contact the President by email. [President@csibriarcliff.org]

Who is in charge of the Sisterhood and how do I get involved?

Contact Robin Ginsberg, the Sisterhood President. [robsamg@optonline.net]

Who is in charge of the Men’s Club and how do I get involved?

Contact the Men's Club President(s) [mensclub@csibriarcliff.org]

Is there a way for religious school parents to become involved?

We welcome parental involvement. Contact the Religious School PTA or the Religious School Director. [RSDirector@csibriarcliff.org]

I love to sing. Is there a way to do that at CSI?

Judy Boehr is our Choir Director. Contact Judy [tanglewoodtoots@gmail.com] or the Cantor [jshiovitz@gmail.com]

I love to dance. Is there a way to do that at CSI?

Start something! There is currently no dance group/class at CSI.

I love to garden and be out in nature. Is there a way to do that at CSI?

The CSI Organic Farm has lots of events and needs volunteers. It is also open to all who wish to purchase a garden bed or share one. Each month there is an article in the bulletin with updates and opportunities. Contact chairperson of the Farm Committee Ryna Lustig. [Rynalustig@gmail.com]

Farm

In what ways is the CSI Farm available to members?

Members can purchase a garden bed or share one, volunteer to help with the farm and farm stand, or hold an event on the farm. Contact chairperson of the Farm Committee Ryna Lustig. [Rynalustig@gmail.com]

What are the rules for access to the farm for planting?

If you have a farm bed, you are welcome to be on site at any time except for Shabbat and religious holidays when in accordance with Jewish law, we ask that you refrain from all garden work. On holidays you will see “no work” signs on the fence to the community garden.

Are there tours of the farm?

Sure! Contact Ryna Lustig. [Rynalustig@gmail.com]

Is the farm available for rental for events?

Yes. We have hosted several life-cycle events for members on the farm. Rental fees are based on what is needed (e.g., tents, tables, staff). We encourage but do not require tent rental.

What produce is grown and what products are sold?

That varies from year to year as we learn about the soil and update our skills. A list of available produce for sale is available weekly on website and signage.

How can I get involved with the farm?

Contact Ryna Lustig [Rynalustig@gmail.com]

Building & Ground

To whom do I report a building maintenance issue?

Call (914 762-2700) or email [office@csibriarcliff.org] the office and they can take a report.

To whom do I report a building maintenance issue after hours in an emergency?

Report the issue to the office [office@csibriarcliff.org] and they contact Irwin Kavy.

To whom can I give a suggestion about building maintenance or beautification?

Contact the CSI President [President@csibriarcliff.org]

How does the parking lot work? What are the middle lanes for?

The parking lot is open, non-reserved parking with several handicap access spots. It is one way in and one way out. The middle lanes were designed for overflow parking. Parking in the middle lanes during school drop off and pick ups is discouraged.

Is the building handicap accessible?

Yes. There are no steps at either the main entrance (East) or back entrance (West). Doorways to the sanctuary, classrooms and restrooms are wide enough for wheelchair access. There is one handicap access stall in each of the West (kitchen) side rest rooms. We can provide a ramp to the bimah and, if needed, bring the Torah to the person.

Can the social hall, classrooms, or farm be rented?

Yes. We require security for everything and there is a very specific process involved that takes into consideration: security, finances, insurance, kashrut requirements, other CSI programs etc.

Safety

Where is the AED located? First Aid kit?

AED is on clear display in the lobby, just next to the coat room. There are First Aid kits in the office and in every classroom.

To whom can I ask a safety related question or report a safety concern?

General safety related questions - ask the office. [Ellen@csibriarcliff.org]
If you are in the building and have a safety concern - see the security guard on duty.

What precautions are in place for the security of the synagogue?

Professional armed security is provided for school, camp, services, concerts and special programs.

What security review and/or training is available? Whom do I contact to participate?

Andy Polay is our Security Manager. He runs programs a couple of times a year and can be reached for individual questions/training at [APolay@globalsecuritygroup.com]

How do I get a name tag replacement?

All members are issued name tags. You can order a Replacement Name Tag from the website.

Emergencies

Whom do I contact in an emergency?

Congregation Emergencies such as loss and sickness: Contact the Rabbi [Rabbi.Rosenberg@csibriarcliff.org] or Cantor [jshiovitz@gmail.com] if you are in need of clergy assistance. One of them contacts the CSI Director with all the details that need to be emailed.

Building emergencies such as flood or fire: Report the issue to the office. [office@csibriarcliff.org]

Safety Emergencies: If you are in the building and have a safety concern, see the security guard on duty.

Office

Who does what in the office?

Janice Rappaport - Educational Administrative Assistant
Supports the Religious School, Nursery School and Summer Camp. Marketing design support. [janice@csibriarcliff.org]
Jennifer Halperin - Director Administrative Assistant
Supports CSI Director. First point of contact for CSI questions. Supports members with a wide range of issues from general questions, to online payments. Supports Director with accounts payable, monthly bulletin, donations, office and building supplies and more. [jenniferh@csibriarcliff.org ]
Clergy Assistant - TBA
Supports the Rabbi and Cantor with calendar, service requirements, B’nai Mitzvah classes, Adult Education administration, and yahrzeit notifications. Creates and sets up emails for the Rabbi’s and the Cantor’s programming. Acknowledges donations to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund. Handles paperwork and research for small grants for CSI; speaks to members regularly; orders, wraps and leaves the gifts for B’nai Mitzvah students; creates, updates and provides the annual B’nai Mitzvah booklet; and schedules all family appointments with the Rabbi. Posts the Rabbi’s Thursday evening email which contains the service schedule.

Who should I contact about an event on the CSI calendar?

If there is no contact person in the event information on the calendar, contact the office (914 762-2700 or office@csibriarcliff.org) and they will refer you to the appropriate contact person.

How can I request to add an event or meeting to the CSI calendar?

Call CSI's Director to pick a date for your event.  Log into CSI Community Portal (ShulCloud). Go to the Calendar page. Click on “Meeting & Event Request” and Fill out the form. If you have questions, contact Jack Zinn [jack.zinn@csibriarcliff.org].

What days/ times is the office open?

Monday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (and until 6:00 PM on Religious School days)
Wednesday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
If someone needs access to the building outside of these hours, arrangements can be made with the office to ensure on-site assistance is available.

Kitchen

How do I schedule a special kiddush?

Contact Jennifer Halpern [jenniferh@csibriarcliff.org] to secure the calendar date.
Contact Ellen Johnson [ellen@csibriarcliff.org] to plan menus and special event arrangements.

Who oversees the kitchen? Can any member use the kitchen?

The rabbi is in charge of the kitchens and kitchen use. Kosher on-site cooking can be done in our kitchens as long as all rules of kashrut (which we provide) are followed.

Can non-kosher food be brought into the synagogue for food donations?

Yes, as long as it is packaged/sealed. This is only allowed if the food will be leaving the premises and not opened.

I have food allergies. What are your accommodations?

The Nursery and Religious Schools are nut free. We can and do accommodate special requests from members and guests at synagogue events, including triple-wrapped Glatt, gluten free and/or vegan meals. We always have a full vegetarian option at dinners and events. When we order food, it is very easy to include these options which are then labeled as such on the buffet. Generally speaking everything we serve at kiddush is dairy/vegetarian and peanut free. We put out bottles of salad dressings marked gluten free as most salad dressings are not.

General

Whom do I talk to if I have a suggestion or an idea?

Synagogue Director Ellen [ellen@csibriarcliff.org] or the CSI President [President@csibriarcliff.org]

I have a question that isn’t listed. Where do I start?

Contact the Assistant to the CSI Director Jennifer Halperin [Jenniferh@csibriarcliff.org], the CSI Director Ellen Johnson [ellen@csibriarcliff.org], the CSI President [President@csibriarcliff.org] or members of the Board who will direct the question to the best possible respondent. Board contact information is on the CSI website.

Sun, April 21 2024 13 Nisan 5784