Astoria Center of Israel sanctuary (Photo © Mark Milch) The murals, by Louis Pierre Rigal, were inspired by the Pirkei Avot, Chapter 5, Verse 23, where Rabbi Judah Ben Tema says: "Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion, to carry out the will of your Father in Heaven".



Astoria Center of Israel is an egalitarian synagogue that maintains a conservative Jewish tradition and is built around a warm, wonderful group of people that embraces a wide variety of perspectives on Judaism in a joyful and inclusive community.
Everyone is welcome--visit our next service!



27-35 Crescent Street, Astoria (Queens), New York 718-278-2680
Get Directions | Schedule of Services

We are now on Facebook and Twitter

Read the Astoria Center of Israel Bulletin (PDF format)

Join our Mailing List

Visit the Astoria Jewish Parents Meetup site to learn about Jewish events in Astoria for children

Sign your child up for free Jewish books from the PJ Library.

Make a donation. Click on the button below to make a donation or to pay your dues. You will be directed to our official page on PayPal's website where you can complete your transaction.

IMPORTANT: Please be sure to click on "Add special instructions to the seller" before you complete your payment and note the reason (dues, donation to a specific fund, payment for an activity) in the space provided.




About ACI








Quick Tour


What our members say


Get membership information


Rabbi Pearl's message


Make a donation or other payment



Give to the 5775 Kol Nidre Appeal. The Kol Nidre Appeal matching campaign is now underway. Thanks to the generosity of Cynthia Groopman—and in memory of her brother, Dr. Jacob Groopman—all donations coming in by October 17 will be matched. The amount of your contribution will remain confidential—but rest assured it will be well used for work vital to maintain our beautiful 89-year-old building. Give generously, and be sure to mark it for “Kol Nidre Appeal.” Thank you!

2014 High Holiday tickets are now on sale.Ticket sales begin Sept 2 during office hours, Monday-Friday 9 am-1 pm. It is suggested that you call before stopping in. Dates: Rosh Hashanah: Sept. 25-26 Yom Kippur: Oct. 4. The Center bylaws require that a member be in good standing with all obligations paid before any
seats be assigned. If you have not sent in your dues, please do so now. Ticket costs are as follows:

  • Family & single memberships include 2 High Holiday tickets.
  • Extra tickets for membership guests - $200 each.
  • Tickets for nonmembers - $250 each.
  • Tickets for nonmember students with I.D. - $50

Order forms are available inside the September ACI Bulletin. (Click HERE for a PDF copy).

Join us for a delicious and friendly break-fast at the conclusion of Ne’ila services on Saturday night, October 4. Members just $18 pp; non-members $25; ages 12 and under free. Paid reservations must be in to the ACI office by Monday, Sept. 29.

Coming Sunday October 19 join us for an afternoon of games and fun with "Game Night III: The Return of the Ping"! Building on the sucess of our previous game nights, ACI is proud to present our first afternoon edition of "Game Night". Events start at 3:00 pm. Come play Ping Pong, Scrabble and an assortment of other games. Admission is $5 suggested donation or free if you bring a game to play from home. Dairy/pareve snacks provided.

Astoria Center of Israel Hebrew School and education news. Our renewed Hebrew school, which has been growing over the past few years, has expanded yet again—with more teachers, more students, and more class time! Classes are starting up this year in mid-September; call the office for more info and to register. There will also be special services and sessions for youngsters over the High Holidays, including Junior Congregation & Children/Family Corners with Lisa Goldberg and with Rabbi Pearl.

The Rabbi’s conversion class, Lunch & Learns, and other adult education sessions will
be resuming soon; details TBA.

Give the gift of HONEY -- for a SWEET New Year! It's not too early to think about sweet wishes for the New Year! Rosh Hashanah arrives on the evening of Wednesday, September 24. ACI has a beautiful and novel way for you to send sweet wishes to friends and family for the New Year -- and it benefits ACI at no additional cost to you! Send everyone on your list the special gift of an 8 oz. JAR OF DELICIOUS 100% CLOVER HONEY (True Source Certified and OU kosher certified) -- with a personalized Rosh Hashanah message from you, and with the special Rosh Hashanah blessing over apples and honey to further sweeten the gift. They'll be so pleased to receive this thoughtful gift from you and will recall the sweetness all year through.
It's easy, it's meaningful, and it also benefits ACI!
Just $12.50 per jar (which includes shipping to anywhere in the U.S. - if you order by July 14), and your gift of 100% pure honey will be sent, along with a customized card featuring your personal greeting and acknowledging a donation to ACI. (That's just$25 for 2, $50 for 4, or $100 for 8!) Click on
to order for everyone on your list!

You can raise funds for the Astoria Center of Israel when you order items from Amazon! Simply go to -- and ACI will receive a small percentage of your Amazon order! On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization (ACI) to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation to ACI.

Buy The Keys to Fanny by ACI member Sally Constain. Another delightful way to raise funds for ACI and to recognize the accomplishment of one of our many talented ACI members is to purchase the recently published novel by Sally Constain. The Keys to Fanny is an engaging and wonderful novel geared for young readers, but which everyone will enjoy. Signed copies are available in the ACI office for $10, with profits donated to ACI. Mazal tov and thank you to Sally!

After 25 years of conscientious service as Ritual Committee Chairman, Mark Sohmer has retired. We will, however, look forward to seeing him in his customary seat at services, and at ACI events.
Mark arrived in Astoria at the auspicious age of three months. He is a graduate of our Hebrew School and became a bar mitzvah in 1961. With bachelors and masters degrees in marketing from Baruch College, he worked as an import customs broker.
At ACI Mark is a former Chairman of the Board. As Ritual Chair he prepared the Schedule of Services that you see on p. 2 in every bulletin. In fact, his was always one of the first items submitted each month. He also handled the distributing of aliyahs and ark openings year round, prepared the list of announcements at services, and had the time-consuming job of creating the entire High Holiday schedule of honors.
Mark comes from a long tradition of service to ACI. His parents, Sarah & Hy, were active volunteers and fundraisers. Sarah also brought her crackerjack memory to the position of office secretary here for 20 years.
We thank Mark for a job well done, and wish him continuing worthy deeds in good health. Says Mark, “It’s been an honor to serve the synagogue all these years.” The honor has been ours.

Astoria Center of Israel receives grant for restoration - Historic news for ACI. As Rabbi Pearl writes in his December column, "On October 16, as reported in the Queens Gazette, we came together to publicly announce that Illya Azaroff’s design firm had been hired, that a $200,000 grant from the Conservancy and the David Berg Foundation had been activated, and that the estate gift of $50,000 from Dorothy Horowitz – thanks to Sydelle Diner– made the grant match possible." CLICK HERE TO READ THE COVERAGE ON THE QUEENS CHRONICLE WEBSITE.

Hebrew classes will now be on Tuesday night.. Native Israelis and ACI members Alona and Shlomo Shevach will teach a weekly, introductory Hebrew class, covering reading, writing, and conversation. This class is free to all ACI members (but you must pre-register, and seriously intend to regularly attend classes.) To registers call (718-278-2680) or email astoriashul[at] the ACI office. Non-members also welcome - contact the ACI office regarding registration and fees.

New class - The Joy of Text: Everything You Wanted To Know About our Texts (But Were Afraid to Ask) - A monthly Shabbat morning learning series based on Judaism’s “text appeal” is starting up. Led by Rabbi Pearl, the “Joy of Text” will begin on November 16, and will meet once per month from 8:30am - 9:15am before Shabbat services. We will tackle some interesting textual highlights, comparisons, anomalies, and challenges, and tease out their contemporary relevance. Texts to be studied will include material from:

  • Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers)
  • Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law)
  • Parashat Hashavua (the weekly Torah portion)
  • Nevi’im (the Hebrew prophets)
  • Sifrei Emet (Biblical Wisdom Literature)

The class is open to all ACI members, and will be conducted in English so knowledge of Hebrew it is not necessary (but is of course welcome!). Please contact Rabbi Pearl at to let him know if you are interested.

New Facebook group for ACI members - become part of the conversation! If you're a member of Astoria Center of Israel, then you're welcome to join our new Facebook group, a place for real time conversation and updates on all that's happening at ACI. Simply search for 'Astoria Center of Israel: Members Group' and request to join!

Sign your child up for free Jewish books from the PJ Library. PJ LIBRARY IS A JEWISH FAMILY ENGAGEMENT program implemented on a local level throughout North America, mailing free, high-quality Jewish children's literature and music to families across the continent on a monthly basis. All families raising Jewish children from age six months of age through five, six, seven or eight years (depending on the community) are welcome to sign up on the Astoria Center of Israel page of the PJ Library Website.

The ACI Cookbook is heating up! Co-chairs Gina Friedlander and Zahava Alter ask you to submit recipes to us at Recipe forms are available from the information table in the synagogue lobby. You can also download the form - right-click on your mouse and choose 'save as' to download the form in Word format or click HERE to download the form in PDF format. You're encouraged to submit 3 or 4 favorites and we'll include as many as possible. The more creative, them-based, or holiday, the better. And make sure they're kosher! Please address any questions to Thanks for your help!


All events are at the Astoria Center of Israel unless otherwise noted. All events are at the Astoria Center of Israel unless otherwise noted. Events may be cancelled due to weather conditions. Check this website for cancellation notices.

Yom Kippur Services

Kol Nidre
Date: Friday, October 3
Time: 6:00 pm

Yom Kipper Morning Service
Date: Saturday, October 4
Time: 9:30 am

Junior Congregation (ages 5-10)
Date: Saturday, October 4
Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Yiskor Service
Date: Saturday, October 4
Time: 2:15 pm

Children’s story with Rabbi Pearl
Date: Saturday, October 4
Time: 2:30 pm

Afternoon break/quiet time/Conversation
Date: Saturday, October 4
Time: 3:00 -6:00 pm

Mincha & Ne’ila Service
Date: Saturday, October 4
Time: 6:00 pm

Saturday, October 4
Time: following Ne'ila Service
Cost: Members just $18 pp; non-members $25; ages 12 and under free. Paid reservations must be in to the ACI office by Monday, Sept. 29.

Game Night III: The Return of the Ping
Sunday October 19
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Cost: $5 suggested donation

Join us for an - afternoon - game night this time! Ping Pong, Scrabble and an assortment of other games. Admission is $5 suggested donation or free if you bring a game to play from home. Dairy/pareve snacks provided.

For complete details see our EVENTS page.

  Parents Cooperative If anyone has infants or toddlers and would like to participate in a Parents class please contact Judy Markowitz at or Judy Pearl at for additional information and upcoming events.



Our Community | Sponsors/Credits | Contact Us

2010 Astoria Center of Israel