Joy is Central

At Central Synagogue

Joy is Central looks at the ways we can find and bring joy into our daily lives. In the Jewish Year 5779 we explored a different principle such as food, giving, gratitude, Shabbat, and relationships. Read and watch below as we discover how Joy is Central.

Celebration is Central

Posted May 13, 2019

We are pleased to share with you Celebration is Central, the final theme in our year-long Joy is Central series. During the High Holy Days, Rabbi Buchdahl preached, "When we are kind, we place the interest of another before our own self-interest, which leads to connectedness, which leads to simcha, which leads to more kindness—a virtuous circle." We hope you will (continue to) join us to celebrate your simchas, milestones, and celebratory occasions in your life.

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Reflection is Central

Posted April 4, 2019

This month, we launch Reflection is Central, our latest theme in our Joy is Central series. We encourage you to take a moment to reflect. Think of your proudest moments, your moments of doubt, and your moments of joy. It's a chance to take stock of whether you are living the life you want to live.

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Relationships are Central

Posted March 8, 2019

With the arrival of the Hebrew month of Adar, we aim to increase our joy. Continuing our monthly series, we invite you to find greater joy by investing in relationships. Rabbi Ari Lorge explains in the video below, that all relationships exist on a spectrum. Some bring happiness and others may be detrimental. With that in mind, we challenge you to reflect on your relationships. Invest time and care to those that bring you happiness and fulfillment, and know there are resources to help if you find yourself in relationships that harm. This month, Relationships are Central, Joy is Central.

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Practice is Central

Posted February 5, 2019

As February arrives, we launch our next Joy is Central theme: Practice is Central. We are often so caught up attending to the demands of daily life that we skip caring for ourselves. Beginning this month, we invite you to experiment with a personal practice (a “practice” in this sense is simply an intentional, regular habit that supports your well being).

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Sharing in the Joy of Shabbat is Central

Posted January 31, 2019

On Friday, January 25, Central members hosted Shabbat dinners across New York City as a part of our Joy is Central, Shabbat is Central event. Congregants joined hosts for dinners for a chance to relax, unplug, and connect. Emily Steinman, a dinner host, shares her experience welcoming fellow congregants into her home to share in the joy of Shabbat. Read more

Shabbat is Central

Posted January 3, 2019

In this new year, we continue our Joy is Central series and invite you to lean into Shabbat. Join us on Friday, January 25, where we hope to engage all ages in one of our special Shabbat is Central dinners or events. Additionally, we encourage you to choose one thing that will make Shabbat feel special this month; attend our Friday night services, light candles, bake challah, or even use Shabbat as a time to “unplug,” as Rabbi Buchdahl explains in her video below. Don’t worry – you don’t have to do it all – choose what works for you.

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Gratitude is Central

Posted December 11, 2018

Continuing our Joy is Central series, this December Gratitude is Central. Jewish tradition encourages us to pause and give thanks multiple times every day. Research now shows what Jews have known for millenia: expressing gratitude can bring us joy.

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Giving is Central

Posted November 21, 2018

We continue to discover month-by-month the ways our tradition helps us find the essential religious element of joy in our lives. This month, we explore the practice of Tzedakah. Jewish tradition commands us to give to those in need, and science shows that doing so brings us joy.

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Food is Central

Posted October 24, 2018

The first of our Joy is Central events focused on the Jewish emphasis on joy through eating and food. As King Solomon reminded us: “So I recommend rejoicing in life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and rejoice.” (Ecclesiastes 8:15)

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Joy is Central

Posted September 30, 2018

Rabbi Buchdahl’s Yom Kippur sermon reflected on the Torah’s commandment to be joyful, and inspired our year-long Joy is Central campaign. Watch Rabbi Buchdahl's Yom Kippur sermon.

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