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, email@example.com.
He looks forward to hearing from you.
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.
Rabbi Ilyse Kramer
Director of Lifelong Learning
Before joining Chisuk Emuna as Director of Lifelong Learning, Rabbi Kramer served as Educator at the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, developing congregational-based interfaith educational initiatives for Jewish, Christian, and Muslim adult learners, educators and clergy in Baltimore and Atlanta. Prior to that position, she and her family lived in Jerusalem as a recipient of the Melton Senior Educators fellowship at Hebrew University. As an accomplished educator, she has taught in a number of adult education settings in the Greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas. She also served as the Jewish Chaplain at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.
Rabbi Kramer was ordained and received her M.H.L in 1992 by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, her M.A in Foundations of Education from Temple University in 1991, and her B.A in History from Lafayette College in 1984. She has lived and studied in Israel for four additional years at Hebrew University, Neve-Schechter, and The Shalom Hartman Institute. Her published curricula include “Tales from the Talmud,” “Makhloket: Sacred Arguing in Jewish Tradition,” and “Bridges: from Jewish Learning to Jewish Living.”
Ilyse and her family moved to Columbia, MD in July 2000. During this time, she and her partner, Sonya Starr (rabbi, Columbia Jewish Congregation), adopted three children: Luigi (21), Victor (19), and Rodney (13); and raised two dogs, Shimmi (cocker spaniel) and Tamara (sharpay/lab mix). In her free time, Ilyse enjoys nature walks and photography, and a variety of sports, like basketball and football.
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org; cell: 410-660-9910
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chisuk Emuna Board
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.
Judith Hodara - Education
Gary Klein - Building
Linda Laff - Programming
Ezra Match - Engagement
Michael Green - Recording Secretary
Keith Lampell - Treasurer
David Sternberg - Financial Secretary
S. Chuck Kline