Chisuk Emuna Congregation

Chisuk Emuna is an active, inclusive, and supportive congregational family where men, women, and children of all backgrounds and levels of observance participate in Jewish living and share life journeys, serve, and strengthen our community.

 

Rabbi Ron Muroff

 

Rabbi Muroff is Chisuk Emuna's spiritual leader.

In 2018, he celebrated 25 years filling this role.

Rabbi Muroff is from Toronto where he grew up in an active Conservative family, synagogue, and school. After graduating high school, Rabbi Muroff participated in Nativ, USY’S Leadership Program in Israel and then earned two Bachelors of Arts degrees as a student in the Joint Program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. In 1992, he received a Masters of Arts and Rabbinic Ordination from JTS. Since 1993, Ron Muroff has served as the rabbi of Chisuk Emuna Congregation.

Rabbi Muroff encourages people to take their Judaism personally and supports their efforts to deepen their connections to G-d, the Jewish community, the world, their families and themselves through passionate prayer, study and the doing of mitzvoth/traditional Jewish ritual and ethical practices.

Rabbi Ron Muroff can be reached at 717-232-4851, rabbi@chisukemuna.org.

He looks forward to hearing from you.

Chisuk Emuna Board

President

Nancy Simmons​

The Chisuk Emuna community has a variety of interests and needs. All are important. We have undertaken a number of initiatives to build these communities. We are committed to explore ways to implement meditation and bring prayer closer to everyone. I welcome and encourage you to reach out to me with ideas, suggestions and participation. This is how we will build communities.

Vice Presidents

Judith Hodara - Education

Dan Berman - Building

Jennifer Lench - Engagement

Officers

Michael Green - Recording Secretary

Keith Lampel - Treasurer

David Sternberg - Financial Secretary

Directors

2019-2022

Rick Friedman

Sherry Baskin

2021-2024

Todd Barron

Ivy Levine

Janna Match

2020-2023

Sharon Flategraff

Daniel Urie

Craig Match

Barbara Bazelon

Barbara Lock

David Spector

Daniel Grabenstein

Libby Urie

S. Chuck Kline

Ex Officio

Rabbi: Ron Muroff

Cemetery Association: Sam Yespy

Immediate Past President: Maggie Grotzinger

Life Members

 
 
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A joint learning venture of Beth El Temple and Chisuk Emuna Congregation.

Classes for children and adults.

GESHER supplementary religious school is home to approximately 40 students and their families—including some from Temple Beth Shalom, Mechanicsburg—looking to experience a living and vibrant Judaism. The program offers classes for Pre-K to Grade 1 students on Sunday mornings; and for Grade 2-7 students on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday mornings. The Gesher program offers a wide variety of creative educational opportunities for parents (and family members) to learn along with their children in family education programs and Shabbat and Jewish Holiday programming throughout the year.   
 

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Mandy Cheskis

Gesher Director​

Mandy has been teaching Judaism since childhood. She grew up as one of
the only Jewish children in my school and always loved teaching
others about my religious practices. 


Mandy has over 13 years of successful experience as an Education
Director Chisuk Emuna Congregation, where under her leadership the
school earned the United Synagogue Framework for Excellence
School Distinction.


She has experience as a Gesher teacher and B’nai Mitzvah Tutor for
both congregations and experience as a Hebrew High/ Sababa
instructor. Mandy also tutors adults and children across the community in Hebrew reading, prayer and how to chant Torah and Haftarah, and enjoys helping families prepare for bar and bat mitzvah.


Mandy is someone who embodies a thirst for learning and growing and
inspires others to do the same. She brings enthusiasm for learning and a
history of trustworthiness, with an earned a reputation for building
lasting wonderful relationships and authenticity and accessibility as a
member of the community who observes Judaism daily and meets
people where they are at.


Mandy lives in Harrisburg with her husband, Joel, and her three
children: Hallel, Devorah and Rena.

 

Our History

Chisuk Emuna is a warm and welcoming congregational family founded by Eastern European immigrants in 1883. We provide a traditional, Jewish home to members of the Greater Harrisburg Jewish community from all ages, backgrounds and levels of observance.

 

The name, Chisuk Emuna means Strength of Faith. This congregation looks forward, in its willingness to welcome newcomers and immediately include them in ritual and congregational activities, as though they had been in the community for many generations.

Affiliated with United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Chisuk Emuna offers religious, educational, cultural, social and youth programs in a hamishe (unpretentious, friendly) atmosphere.

 

Chisuk Emuna is a “hands-on” Jewish family that partners with other local Jewish institutions to involve all who are interested in Jewish life. Together, Chisuk Emuna members make a difference for our families, community and the world.

Top: The previous location of the synagogue on 5th and Division Streets was opened in 1955. In 2011, the building succumbed to an accidental fire and damaged beyond repair. 

Middle: From 2011-2014, under the careful and detailed eyes of the Building Committee and generous funds from within the congregation, a new construction was erected at the corner of Green and Vaughn Streets. During this time, Chisuk Emuna conducted services at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Harrisburg.

Bottom: The joyous celebration and congregational walk, bringing our Torah scrolls and our hearts to their new home on Dedication Day in 2014.

 

Life Cycle Events

Please contact Rabbi Muroff, if interested in preparing for a Brit Milah, baby naming, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Wedding or Funeral.

 

Brit Milah / Baby Naming

When a baby is born or a child is adopted, a ceremony is held to celebrate the child’s arrival and joining the Jewish People. A brit milah (circumcision ceremony) is held on the eighth day of the boy’s life, unless there is a health concern. A baby naming for a newborn daughter is generally held at a service when the Torah is read soon after the birth. The rabbi assists members with arrangements for these lifecycle events, including providing names of experienced mohalim.

B'nai Mitzvah

A child reaching the age of Jewish majority is a cause for great celebration. A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is the culmination of years of Jewish education in the Yeshiva or Hebrew School, months of work with a tutor and a milestone on a life long journey of Jewish living, learning and growing. Please contact our Director of Education or rabbi for more information about becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Chisuk Emuna.

 

Wedding

Sanctifying the love of a bride and a groom is a personal, family and communal celebration. The rabbi guides couples in the months prior to the wedding. Generally, on the Shabbat before the wedding, the bride and groom come to the synagogue for anaufruf, a traditional celebration in which the couple comes before the Congregation and receives blessings and good wishes. Weddings are held in our synagogue and elsewhere in traditional ceremonies officiated at by our rabbi.

Funeral

The death of a loved one is a great loss for the family and community. The rabbi comforts the family and helps them to make arrangements with the funeral home and plan the funeral and shiva, the seven-day mourning period that follows the burial.

 

Generally, members of the synagogue use the services of the Hetrick Funeral Home, whose funeral directors are specially trained to attend to the needs of members of the Jewish community. Funeral services typically take place on the day following the death.

The cemetery is located at 10 34th street in Harrisburg. Plots are available to members. Perpetual care is included. The Chevra Kadisha (the Holy Burial Society) is an organization of our members who perform religious rituals attendant to burials. The Sisterhood provides a shiva meal for mourners. Please contact Sam Yespy of our Cemetery Committee at 717-761-7752 for more information about the cemetery.

Please contact the shul for updated policies on Tahara, Funeral, Burial, and Unveiling in Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic.