Summer 2011 In Woodbourne


woodbourne-4This is the second summer that B’nai Israel Synagogue, on Route 42 in Woodbourne (built in 1922 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places) is serving the entire Catskills region by its 24/7 open-door operations.

The shul is the first in the Catskills to feature non-stop minyanim. There’s a minyan every fifteen minutes or less, and often multiple minyanim in the main sanctuary, beis medrash and vestibule. Those observing a yahrzeit in the Catskills now have a shul where a minyan is guaranteed.

Prior to the summer of 2010, Rabbi Mordechai Jungreis, beloved Nikolsburger Rebbe of Boro Park, formally met with the B’nai Israel Synagogue’s administration and, with their enthusiastic support, assumed summer leadership of the Woodbourne shul. The board of B’nai Israel Synagogue must be applauded for preserving the facility for so many years. Though the shul had not been fully utilized for years, the board’s resilience in its maintenance played an important part in its present success.

During the regular school year Rabbi Jungreis serves as rebbe in Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin. In addition, he leads Beis Medrash Khal Chassidei Nikolsburg-Kollel Boro Park (4912 Sixteenth Avenue). There, he has had astonishing success with chassidishe youth at risk.
Chassidim of Rabbi Jungreis upgraded the Woodbourne shul for Summer 2011. Weekday morning Shacharis is held at 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30, 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30 and 11 a.m., and, for night shift workers, from 12 p.m. onward. Minchah on Sundays begins at 3 p.m. and every 15 minutes thereafter; Minchah during the week begins at 5 p.m. and every 15 minutes thereafter; Maariv begins at nightfall and every 15 minutes thereafter.

The last minyan for weekday Maariv is scheduled for 11:45 p.m., but don’t be surprised if there’s minyan after minyan well past midnight.

On Shabbos, the Nikolsburger Rebbe leads tefillos and tisch in the shul. Shalosh seudos lasts beyond the regular Havdalah. The Motzaei Shabbos grand melaveh malkah is another attraction that adds to the appeal and charm of the shul.

A key ingredient Rabbi Jungreis has introduced is the smorgasbord of cake and nosh, with cold and hot drinks, set out at all times. In addition, during late afternoon and evening hours, delicious chulent and kugel (potato and lukshen) are served to all takers. The Nikolsburger Rebbe thus provides edible as well as spiritual nourishment to all wayfarers.

The financial burden of providing the warm setting is considerable. Those wishing to use their tzedakah dollars most effectively should consider helping underwrite this particularly noble effort. Assuming a share in the tefilas and learning taking place at B’nai Israel will surely be rewarded by Heaven.

As more sefarim are being brought into the shul almost daily, the facility offers visitors to Woodbourne a retreat where they can study Daf Yomi, Mishnah, Gemara, Chumash, Shulchan Aruch, etc.; where they can review a shiur, check a halacha, or recite Tehillim in a tranquil setting mere steps away from the hustle and bustle of Main Street. The opening of the shul on a 24/7 schedule has had a profound effect on Woodbourne. Seeing people on Main Street rush to the Woodbourne shul to catch a minyan at all hours is no longer an exception. It is now commonplace.

{Rabbi G Tannenbaum-Machberes}


  1. Rabbi Jungries is one of the Lamed Vov Tzadikim of our generation! His overflowing, Ahavas Yisroel, lev tov, eiyin tov are amazing! He doesn’t wait for oppertunities to come to him. He seeks out Chesed. He provides a shoulder to lean on/cry on, for all of Kllal Yisroel!

  2. Dovened shachris there today….amazing how such a sense of warmth and achdus is felt in the shul with minyanim consisting of chassidim,yeshivaleit,and those more modern dressed.
    In addition to the delicious food and drinks, the tzaddik rabbi jungreis greeting the mispallelim with true warmth,love and chizuk. This mikdash me’at is a true kiddush hash-em!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Woodbourne, Woodbourne, how beautiful is your Shul.
    Woodbourne, Woodbourne, how good is your Rav.
    Woodbourne, Woodbourne, how powerful is your Hachnosas Orchim.
    Woodbourne, Woodbourne, how sweet is your recital of Tehilli.
    Woodbourne, Woodbourne, how delightful is your Daf Yomi.
    Woodbourne, Woodbourne, you are now a beautiful song.