Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale

Coordinates: 40°53′52.36″N 73°54′25.81″W / 40.8978778°N 73.9071694°W / 40.8978778; -73.9071694

The Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR), founded in 1954, is a Conservative, egalitarian congregation and a member of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. The synagogue is located in the Riverdale, Bronx, neighborhood of New York City. The congregation's spiritual leader is Rabbi Barry Dov Katz, who was appointed to the position in 1998.

Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale
AffiliationConservative Judaism
LocationRiverdale, the Bronx, New York City
StateNew York
CountryUnited States
Architect(s)Percival Goodman


The Conservative Synagogue of Riverdale was founded in 1954, with Rabbi Max Kadushin serving as its first rabbi. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale was founded upon the three traditional pillars of Judaism—Torah, Avodah, and Gemilut Chasadim—religious study and observance, acts of social responsibility, and deeds of loving-kindness, respectively. Significantly, the first building to be erected by the new congregation was its Hebrew school.

In 1962, a new sanctuary, designed by architect Percival Goodman, was dedicated and the community started to grow. In 1973, the Conservative Synagogue merged with Adath Israel of the Grand Concourse. When the two joined, a plaque was dedicated: "We loved our house of worship. It enriched our lives and uplifted our souls."

CSAIR has daily morning and evening services, regular holiday services, an additional monthly havurah alternative service, extensive child-focused religious and educational services, the Marsha Dane Hebrew School, and various adult education programs.

2000 terror attackEdit

On October 8, 2000, the eve of Yom Kippur, a group of four Palestinian-American men attacked the synagogue with Molotov cocktails, which they threw through the synagogues glass door. Mazin Assi, one of the attackers and 23 years old, was convicted of attempted arson, weapons charges, and hate crimes, and sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison.[1][2] Assi said he threw the firebombs at "the rich Jews in Riverdale" because he alleged they send money to Israel for "killing people."[3][4]

When Assi appealed, arguing that his act was not a hate crime and therefore he should not attract the longer sentence that a hate crime attracts, the New York Court of Appeals unanimously rejected his argument and ruled in 2010 that a person can be guilty of a hate crime even if the violence is directed at a building, rather than a person.[5] The ruling upheld two lower court rulings that had reached the same conclusion.[6] Assi, who had grown up in the Palestinian territories, had already sought parole twice, and been denied parole twice.[7]

Notable membersEdit

Notable rabbisEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Intelligence Report: A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Klanwatch. 2003.
  2. ^ Samuel G. Freedman (May 29, 2009). "Two Rabbis Find They're Separated Only by Doctrine". The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
  3. ^ Dareh Gregorian (March 27, 2009). "ACTS VS. BLDGS. 'HATE CRIMES'". The New York Post.
  4. ^ Green, David (October 28, 2018). "From Lynchings to Mass Shootings: The History of Deadly Attacks on Jews in America". Haaretz. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "NY court sees synagogue attack as hate crime".
  6. ^ "NY court sees synagogue attack as hate crime".
  7. ^ "NY court sees synagogue attack as hate crime".
  8. ^ "Ruth Westheimer". Hadassah Magazine. January 5, 2015.

External linksEdit