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Adas Yoshuron Synagogue 


   

If you're interested in either our CD or cookbook, please or call 207-594=4523.


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June calendar

Adas Yoshuron on MPBN (Maine's NPR network): Part 1 and part 2

New Year's thoughts from the Hebrew School

New Year, New You
Sweet honey and apples
The feeling of fall
The breeze in my hair
Nothing can stop me
I'm like a bird to the air
Key to the lock
Heart to the soul
That is what I feel like
When it is Rosh Hashanah
Happy Birthday world!
    — Ellie

I feel the rain
Dropping on my head and shoulders
Then I see the sun come out
and I hear the birds singing
then I think
what a great day to celebrate the New Year.
    — Daniel

I'm looking forward to the New Year
To do math, To taste lunch
See the leaves blowing in the wind
The head of the year
It is so fun to see the wind blowing
The world is a new.
Math, math, I love to do math in the New Year!
To see the months go by
It is always fun when the New Year comes!
    — Tessa

Resources
Rabbi Margalit's Organic Torah blog
High Holiday Torah and Haftarah recordings
Deborah Weisgal's talk: The Choir and the Music
Rabbi Jarmon's recordings (of Shabbat and other liturgical melodies)
Area Interfaith Outreach food pantry

 

 

History

A das Yoshuron is a 100 year old synagogue in Rockland, Maine. The building was purchased from the Advent Christian Church in 1912 by a handful of Jewish immigrants. The original congregation numbered 31 member families. Membership varied to 20 or less in the 1930's through the late 1950's, and has recently grown to over 100 memberships.

In 2004, Adas Yoshuron hired its first full-time rabbi in over sixty years, Rabbi Amita Jarmon. After spending almost five years with the congregation, Rabbi Jarmon moved on in 2009 and Adas Yoshuron again functions without a full-time rabbi.

T he congregation began as an Orthodox congregation, and voted to become a Conservative synagogue in 1975. Twenty years later the congregation voted to become an unaffiliated congregation, to assure its ritual, spiritual and social autonomy. (Our most recent rabbi was trained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College outside Philadelphia.)

T he synagogue is located on Willow Street in a residential neighborhood in Rockland (click here for directions). Upstairs is the sanctuary with additional seating in the balcony. There is combined seating for approximately 175 people.

Downstairs is a multipurpose room which is used for meetings, events, ritual meals, our Hebrew School and adult education. The room provides space for our library and gift shop. The kitchen and restroom facilities are also located downstairs.

Membership

Our congregation is a diverse group. We are composed of fifth generation Maine families as well as newer members from Europe, Australia and all areas of the United States. Several of us have lived for a time in Israel. Some have roots in Maine. Among us are practicing Orthodox Jews, traditional Conservatives, liberal Conservatives, and intermarried families with children. Members of the community who are not Jewish are welcome to our events and services.

Adas Yoshuron is the only synagogue north of Bath, south of Bangor and east of Augusta. Our membership resides in a geographical area from Newcastle to Belfast, and Burketville to the islands of Penobscot Bay. Because we are the only synagogue available to service a diverse Jewish population, the philosophy of Adas Yoshuron is one of inclusion.

Dues are currently $650 for a family membership and $500 for an individual membership. Because revenues from dues are not sufficient to support our programs, we depend upon generous contributions from members and non-members.

Today women have full rights and privileges, politically and ritually at Adas Yoshuron. Women fully participate in services including reading from and holding the Torah. Women have conducted services from our bimah, and have served in all administrative positions in the congregation, including president.

Ritual practice

We currently have weekly Shabbat morning services on Saturday and occasional Friday evening services. Check this month's calendar for details. We have a full schedule of holiday services, seders and life cycle events, including Brit milot, Bat and Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, and funerals.

Administration

The affairs of the synagogue are conducted by a Board of Directors composed of an elected president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, and five members-at-large. There is an annual meeting for the election of officers, and there is an additional budget meeting. Special issues may be called at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Major issues are submitted to the congregation for discussion and a vote. An issue may be placed on the agenda for these meetings by an advance letter to the president at least two weeks before the meeting.

The synagogue office, along with the library, is staffed by our administrative assistant, Liz Snyder. She is glad to answer questions or provide information about services and events. Office hours are variable, so it is best to call or email us at yoshuron@midcoast.com before visiting the synagogue.

Hashofar

"Hashofar" is the monthly newsletter. It is the major life-line of the congregation for news and notices. It contains a calendar of events and services, and notices of life cycle events such as birthdays and Yahrzeits. There are also special supplements published in advance of major events. To get on our mailing list to receive HaShofar, call the office at 594-4523.

Community Activities

Tsedakah is the major thrust of our community activities. The congregation conducts a soup kitchen for the needy at St. Peter's Church in Rockland the first Sunday of every month, and on Christmas Day and Easter. It is a wonderful experience in which you may participate with your presence, or by donating food. We also keep a pushka in the meeting room of the shul, as well as a food donation box. Regular contributions are needed and appreciated. For more information, please contact the Synagogue office. 

Adas Yoshuron maintains a presence in the greater Rockland ecumenical community by participating in a variety of interfaith services and activities. For example, there are several annual commemorative services such as an AIDS service, a Thanksgiving service, and a Yom Hashoah service. It is common for our friends in the community to attend services and events at Adas Yoshuron, such as our Passover and Tu B'Shevat Seders, and the break-the-fast after the conclusion of Yom Kippur.

Members of the congregation are also available to give talks at area schools about Jewish life, history and festivals.

Life Cycle Events

The naming of a baby girl may be done at a Torah service. A Brit may be held in the synagogue or at home. The family may obtain the services of local Jewish physicians and rabbis, or may contact a mohel. A phone call to the synagogue will connect you with current resources.

Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah services may be arranged by requesting a date from the Board of Directors, usually one year in advance of the event. It is our pleasure to call the young man or woman to the Torah for the first time, and to offer a "mazel tov "to the family. Past ceremonies have been officiated by rabbis, and by lay leaders from the congregation. The synagogue meeting room offers limited capacity for receptions. There are several larger facilities in the area which are suitable for this.

We are equally pleased to provide a spiritual setting for a wedding ceremony. These are organized in the same fashion as a Bar Mitzvah. Our Board of Directors will be pleased to consider your individual needs.

There are two Jewish cemeteries serving our community. "The Jewish Cemetery" is on Route 73 in Owl's Head, south of Rockland. The "Berliawsky-Small Cemetery" is located on Upper Park Street in Rockland. While these cemeteries have no direct affiliation with the synagogue, they have served this community since the early 1900s. To meet the needs of today's families, the "Berliawsky-Small Cemetery" will intern cremains, and there is a section in that cemetery which will accommodate the burial of Jewish people and their non-Jewish spouses and/or children.

There is a fully trained "chevra kadisha" [Jewish burial society] which will assist a family with ritual preparation, funeral arrangements, cemetery arrangements, and organizing a minyan. Funeral services may be held in the sanctuary of the synagogue, at a local funeral home, or at the gravesite. Gravesites at both cemeteries are available for a cost of $1,000 each, which will include a perpetual care contract. Please consult the attached roster for information on whom to contact.

Education

The Hebrew school currently includes twenty-five children aged 8 to 12. The goal of the curriculum is to educate our children of the valuable legacy to which they are heirs. The program teaches functional Judaic skills such as Hebrew reading and familiarity with Jewish ritual as well as academic subjects such as Jewish history. Tuition is currently $400.00 per child for non-members and free of charge when the family is a member of the congregation.

For adults, we have and are continuing to provide programs in Hebrew language, literary studies and ritual practice. The number and scope of our adult education program can be as limitless as people's interest and willingness to organize and serve.

Commemoratives

The walls of the sanctuary hold four large Yahrtzeit tablets. Loved ones may be honored by purchasing individual plaques inscribed with their names to be installed on the tablets. In the hallway at the entrance to our sanctuary is a Tree Of Life. Special events [weddings, births, etc.] and mitzvot may be recorded on individual leaves on the tree. Call the Synagogue to make arrangements for either of these memorials.

Onegs

Our meetings, services and events are almost all preceded or followed by some sort of communal meal. Larger meals such as our Passover Seder are usually produced by a committee, Onegs are typically put on by a family or a group of people. We volunteer, and all take our turn. It is customary to bring food to contribute to the festivities. A good policy is to bring enough for 10 to 12 people. Announcements may appear in Hashofar about what to bring, or you may be individually contacted. When in doubt, dessert is usually a safe bet.

There are two things to remember about feasting at the shul. First, we are kosher, and the kitchen is dairy. Fish is permitted. Second, we do not have a maintenance staff to clean up after us. The care of the synagogue requires that we stay for a little while, put away chairs, clean and remove rubbish. It's usually a great opportunity to kibbitz and to play.

Directions

Adas Yoshuron Synagogue
50 Willow Street
P.O. Box 1250
Rockland, Maine 04841
(207) 594-4523

From the north via Route 1:

From the north via Route 17:

From the south:

Click here for a Google map.