Bound Brook synagogue marks 100 years

Bound Brook synagogue marks 100 years

Congregation Knesseth Israel in Bound Brook has been celebrating its 100th anniversary all year. The celebration kicked off last June with a carnival, on the shul’s front lawn, that included games, refreshments, and a DJ, and was open to both current and past members. In February, a reunion Shabbat morning service had congregants, friends, former members, and Hebrew school alumni taking part in the service and socializing at a kiddush luncheon. On June 10, a gala marked the final anniversary celebration. It all was facilitated by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties.

Bound Brook has one of the oldest known Jewish communities in New Jersey; many local residents, merchants, and professionals joined. The congregation’s story started in the 1920s, when it was established as the Jacob H. Schiff Congregation. In 1953, the congregation changed its name to Knesseth Israel; the building that is its home now was dedicated in 1955 and expanded in the 1980s.

The congregation was Orthodox from the 1920s through the 1960s, when it joined the Conservative movement. Today, CKI is a nonaffiliated egalitarian synagogue with members from a variety of Jewish traditions and backgrounds. CKI welcomes everyone who is part of a Jewish family, including interfaith families.

The members of the congregation, led by Rabbi Stephen Wylen and Cantor Eddie Roffman, fondly call CKI their “Mighty Little Synagogue,” and gather regularly for weekly Friday night Shabbat services, monthly Saturday morning services and Torah study, Jewish holiday celebrations, adult education programs, book discussions, and social events.

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